Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Misnamed "reform" bill killed by House of Representatives

By a five vote margin, the House of Representatives on Tuesday turned down a bill that, while touted as school board reform, was widely opposed by educators because it would have eroded a system of checks-and-balances between school boards and school superintendents.

HB 851 by Rep. Steve Carter (R-Baton Rouge) was heavily supported by State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, Governor Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and the Council for a Better Louisiana. Its main opposition came from a consortium that included the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana School Boards Association and Louisiana Association of Educators.

Despite a flurry of floor amendments aimed at making the bill more palatable, and an eleventh-hour intervention on its behalf by Senator Mary Landrieu, the bill failed by a vote of 46 “yeas” and 51 “nays.”

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