Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Superintendent ready for school board reform fight

State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek pretty much stuck to his guns when he spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday. Despite the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's refusal to endorse his plan to rein in school boards, Pastorek is ready for the legislative battle ahead.

As Times-Picayune reporter Ed Anderson writes here, Pastorek is adamant about the need he sees to limit school board authority. Boards should make education policy, and leave personnel decisions to local superintendents, Pastorek believes.

(It is in this area that LFT has a problem with the agenda. Part of the change would eviscerate the state's teacher tenure laws.)

Pastorek gave his general approval to a package of bills that Rep. Steve Cater (R-Baton Rouge) plans to introduce in the coming session. Carter's bills are very similar to the package that BESE rejected last week.

There is one area in which Pastorek signals a willingness to compromise with school board members. He told the press club that a Carter bill which would reduce the salaries that school board members can collect, "has not been my issue."

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