Board officials face loss of pay and perks

21st November 2003 at 00:00
In today's America, failing students can be forced to repeat a year, teachers can have promotion blocked and principals be dismissed, but school board administrators have escaped punishment for underperformance.

But that could soon change. John Crose, an influential former education official in Louisiana, is planning to introduce a state Bill next spring to make school chiefs pay for poor exam results by forfeiting their attendance pay.

"The accountability system is looking hard at everyone. Why should school board members not be accountable too?" he said. School board officials, elected by voters to govern their education authorities, earn about $800 a month for attendance plus private health insurance and expenses.

Under Crose's reform, two-thirds of Louisiana's 68 boards could be serving for free given the number of failing schools.

Crose has powerful allies, including Lev Dawson, a technology mogul-turned sweet potato farmer reputedly worth $41 million. Mr Dawson ascribes Louisiana's woeful reputation not to poor students or teachers, but incompetent managers.

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