Walter Pierce

Teacher union: Pastorek must go

by Walter Pierce

It is apparently pay-back time for state Superintendent Paul Pastorek, who ruffled many a feather last spring with his bid to revamp public education in Louisiana, particularly with regard to the operation of parish school boards. The Louisiana Association of Educators, which represents thousands of primary school teachers statewide, is calling on Gov. Bobby Jindal to can the outspoken chief, according to the Times-Picayune. Although the governor's office could leverage its influence to have Pastorek canned, it is the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education which controls the superintendent position.

“Over the last two legislative sessions, Superintendent Paul Pastorek has demonstrated his unwillingness to work with educators, legislators and locally elected school board leaders to bring about meaningful education reform,” says LAE President Joyce Haynes.

Pastorek’s plan to essentially neuter local school boards and empower parish superintendents — in the form this past session of four bills by Baton Rouge Rep. Steve Carter — went down in flames amid heavy opposition by the Louisiana School Boards Association.