Covering Louisiana

May 1, 2013 4:57 PM by AP

Senate panel rejects election of education chief

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bid to make Louisiana's education superintendent elected by voters, rather than appointed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, has failed to gain traction in the Senate.

The Senate Education Committee voted 4-2 Wednesday against the proposal by Republican Sen. Bob Kostelka - but only after a wide-ranging debate showcasing deep divides between state and local school leaders.

As he pushed the constitutional change, Kostelka complained about the policies, spending and contracts of current superintendent John White and BESE members.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposed the bill, along with BESE President Chas Roemer.

Roemer says BESE evaluates the superintendent annually. He says 13 states have elected superintendents, and 12 of them have lagged behind Louisiana in education improvements in recent years.

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