Apr 20, 2010 3:01 PM by Melissa Canone
Baton Rouge, La. -(AP) A bid to make the state's education superintendent elected,
rather than appointed, failed to win approval Tuesday in the House
and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, argued his bill (House Bill
1006) would let voters decide who should lead the state's education
efforts and would save the state money.
"Today's voters are more aware, in education more than any
other field," Harrison said.
The elected superintendent would be paid the $115,000 salary all
statewide elected officials receive, compared to the more than
$341,000 base salary Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek
receives under his contract with the Board of Elementary and
Opponents said simply electing a superintendent, rather than
letting BESE hire one won't improve education.
"I don't think the ills of public education are going to be
cured just by switching this to an elected position," said Rep.
Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur.
The committee voted 12-6 against the bill, which was opposed by
the governor's office.