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.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=809799

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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