Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pastorek declares war on school boards

Speaking to an audience of businesspeople in St. Tammany Parish yesterday, State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek essentially declared war on school boards in Louisiana's 70 public school systems.

At a chamber of commerce breakfast, Pastorek fleshed out some proposals he floated before his own Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last month. He ratcheted up his rhetoric, saying that the school board system is "screwed up" and that he is "determined to see school board reform take place in Louisiana."

The prongs of his attack on school boards include taking away the salaries allowed by law for school board members, imposing term limits on elected members, distancing school boards from hiring practices, and strengthening the role of local superintendents.

As Times-Picayune reporter Kia Hall Hayes writes here, Pastorek is likely to face stiff opposition from local school boards and their lobbying group, the Louisiana School Boards Association.

LSBA business director Lloyd Dressel told the reporter that his organization is polling members about possible responses. But there is no doubt he believes school boards are being singled out:

"It appears to me that this is a concerted effort to place requirements and
restrictions on school boards that are disproportionate to any other local
body," Dressel said.

No comments: