AP NEWS

Louisiana education superintendent post draws 21 applicants

March 2, 2020 GMT
FILE - In a Thursday, July 17, 2014 file photo, Superintendent of Education John White speaks after his meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal about public school testing, in Baton Rouge, La. White, who helped strengthen the role of charter schools, backed a taxpayer-funded tuition voucher program for private schools and oversaw overhauls of the state’s school accountability efforts, announced Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 that he is stepping down as Louisiana's education superintendent. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
FILE - In a Thursday, July 17, 2014 file photo, Superintendent of Education John White speaks after his meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal about public school testing, in Baton Rouge, La. White, who helped strengthen the role of charter schools, backed a taxpayer-funded tuition voucher program for private schools and oversaw overhauls of the state’s school accountability efforts, announced Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 that he is stepping down as Louisiana's education superintendent. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than 20 people from across the country have applied to be Louisiana’s next state education superintendent, according to the state’s top school board.

The 21 applicants include higher education professionals from schools in Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee, as well as public school teachers, a Louisiana teacher’s union representative and other consultants, administrators and educators holding posts nationwide. An Arkansas Department of Education official as well as a former Kentucky education chief have also applied for the position, news outlets reported.

The current superintendent, John White, announced in January that he would be resigning March 11 after eight years in the role.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Kira Orange Jones is chairwoman of the working group that will help select White’s successor. She called the list of applicants “a very diverse and talented pool of educational leaders” in an update released Saturday, one day after the application window closed.

Jones has said she hopes the panel will agree on White’s successor at its two-day meeting April 20 and 21. At least eight of the 11 board members must vote to approve the new hire.

Asked about the applicants Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards didn’t name a favorite. He said he hoped the board will pick someone with classroom experience who has worked in a variety of education roles and is a “champion for education.”

“I believe that we have multiple candidates who fit that bill,” the Democratic governor said.