Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reporter outs BESE skulduggery

Leave it to reporter John Maginnis to cut through the smoke and fog of government and lay out the unvarnished facts. In this column, Maginnis explains why the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Civil Service Commission are the real drivers of the state budget.

Which also explains the skulduggery at the last BESE meeting, in which New Orleans area member James Garvey introduced, and quickly deferred, a motion to depose Board President Keith Guice and the rest of the executive committee.

Members of the board who are not closely aligned with Governor Bobby Jindal prevailed in a vote to reinstate a 2.75% growth factor in public education's budget, even though the governor was hoping to continue a freeze on education spending without a fight.

"To keep this free thinking from getting out of hand," writes Maginnis, "the governor's team has decided it needs new leadership on BESE, which means dumping current chairman Keith Guice of Monroe, who heads the opposition faction."

Garvey refused to discuss his motives for introducing the motion, but said he will explain himself when he resurrects the issue from the table. He will be able to do that whenever he believes the time is right for a vote.

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