John White’s Employment Contract
John White was employed as Louisiana state superintendent by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) board elected in 2011 and serving from January 2012 to December 2015.
The 2012-15 BESE board was White’s employer and could only offer White a contract that lasted as long as the 2012-15 BESE board was active.
To read White’s employment contract, click here: Superintendent’s_contract
In order for the 2016-20 BESE board to offer White a new contract, it would need two-thirds vote of the total membership of the board (at least 8 of the 11 BESE members). However, it is not likely that 8 BESE members will vote to renew White’s contract, which would make White a month-to-month employee at the same salary as delineated in the original contract (which is $275,000 annually as the 2012 base, with a possible 6 percent raise– $16,500– each year).
To read about the office of Louisiana state superintendent, including terms of appointment and continued employment, see page 3 of this Title 28 excerpt.
White gets to remain as state superintendent until the 2016-20 BESE board appoints his successor. Since the majority of the 2016-20 BESE board appears at this time to have no intention of offering a contract to any individual endorsed by Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards, it remains to be seen what will happen, including what the governor-elect might do to prompt BESE to endorse his choice for next state superintendent.
However, even as I write this, I realize that White is feeling the pressure. Not only is he no longer the governor’s golden boy; he now faces a governor with whom he shares no secrets and who has publicly singled him out for impending departure.
As BESE member Jane Smith mentioned when we were discussing this post:
No matter the composition of BESE, never underestimate the power of a newly-elected governor.