Walter Pierce

School board reform suffers a blow

by Walter Pierce

A legislative package aimed at reforming how parish school boards operate has suffered a major setback less than one week into the spring legislative session.

Louisiana political columnist John Maginnis reports that the most ambitious of Rep. Steve Carter’s four bills — to impose term limits on school board members — was killed in the house education committee amid heavy opposition from the Louisiana School Boards Association. Maginnis reports that Carter voluntarily withdrew a second bill that would have tightened anti-nepotism laws for school board members.

That’s two down and two to go. Carter’s remaining school-board reform bills seek to cap board member per diems at $200 per month and to remove school boards from hiring and firing decisions. The proposals mirror recommendations put forth earlier this spring by state school Superintendent Paul Pastorek. The so-called Pastorek Plan has been the subject of intense criticism by many in the public education community.