A bright idea from the Bayou
A well-informed Louisiana resident shared this tantalizing post-election tidbit from the Bayou State, further evidence that Americans are growing restless with the dysfunctionality of traditional public-school governance:
In 2012, our legislature narrowly passed a bill that put a local option school-board term limit proposition on this year's ballot in 67 parishes. (There are 70 total but the Recovery School District doesn't have a board and Lafayette and Jefferson Parishes already have term limits.) On Tuesday, the proposition passed with enormous margins. The lowest support was at 70% (Baker) and the highest at 85% (St. Tammany, which has one of the most backward, anti-reform boards in the state). In fact, 1.16 million people in Louisiana voted for school-board term limits.
You can find the 2012 legislation here: http://www.legis.state.
Although limiting the terms of public officials sometimes turns out to be a mixed blessing, declaring school board members less than immortal—at least giving voters the opportunity to do that—is a step that reformers in other states should consider.
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About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
May 23, 2013
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