Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pastorek gives LSBA a shortened speech

State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek says he was supposed to speak to the Louisiana School Boards Association for 30 minutes on Friday at the LSBA's annual convention. LSBA President Noel Hammatt says Pastorek was supposed to speak for 10 minutes.

When teh difference was split at 20 minutes, Pastorek left out the part of the speech that was most eagerly anticipated: the piece of his legislative agenda that deals with school boards. People at the convention said that when his PowerPoint slide about school board reforms came up, Pastorek shut down the speech.

Which left Advocate reporter Will Sentell without much meat for this story.

The superintendent had enough time to list a few of his grievances with school boards, but details about his plans for the future were left hanging.

We know that Pastorek wants term limits for board members, that he wants to take away their $800 per month stipends, and that he wants to remake school boards as policy, rather than management, bodies.

We know that Pastorek is looking at radical changes to the state's teacher tenure laws. And we know that the Louisiana Federation of Teachers is ready to fight for the preservation of due process rights. The picture will become much clearer in the next few weeks. Lawmakers return to Baton Rouge for the legislative session at the end of April.

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