Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Superintendent Vacancy Becomes a Matter of Law – Educate Louisiana

Superintendent Vacancy Becomes a Matter of Law – Educate Louisiana:

Superintendent Vacancy Becomes a Matter of Law


Over the last couple of months, I have been in constant contact with both the governor’s office and the senate in regards to the appointment of Superintendent of Education, John White. There is a general agreement that appointive positions are intended to be temporary extensions of the current administration. It isn’t uncommon for someone to be reappointed by an incoming administration; however, in White’s case, that has not been done. Some of the senate staff attorneys have differing opinions about how and when appointments should terminate. In order to resolve the matter, we have solicited the courts for clarity. On Tuesday, May 30th, a motion for declaratory judgement was filed in the 19th Judicial District of East Baton Rouge Parish. With myself listed as the primary plaintiff, fourteen other plaintiffs from across the state have joined me in asking the courts to declare the process and intent of the law.  The intent is to establish a guideline for both BESE and the Louisiana Senate to take action.
Supt. John White.
If you have been following my blogs over the last couple of months, you know that an important deadline is fast approaching. In summary, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is tasked with appointing a superintendent of education with a 2/3 majority vote. The appointment, and subsequent contract, can’t extend past the appointing authority’s term of election. Our current superintendent of education, John White, was appointed by the previous BESE board, and his appointive term ended on January 12, 2016.
As per his contract, and Louisiana law, White is permitted to continue in that capacity until BESE appoints a new superintendent. As per Revised Statute 24:14, if an appointing authority fails to appoint and submit an appointee to the senate for confirmation, the current appointee may continue to serve until the last day of the second regular session following the expiration of the appointed term. At that time, the position is considered vacant. Per the law, BESE has until June 8th to appoint and submit for confirmation, or the superintendent of education position is considered vacant.
I have made several personal pleas to BESE both via blog posts and personal communications. I have been told by several BESE members that there is no interest in addressing White’s appointment, and they believe they are within their rights to keep White on a month to month contract, indefinitely. There are a couple of misconceptions about this process that I Superintendent Vacancy Becomes a Matter of Law – Educate Louisiana:

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