Judge Rejects New Attempt To Oust Louisiana Education Leader

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A new effort to force out Louisiana's top public schools leader has failed.

District Court Judge Todd Hernandez rejected a lawsuit from critics of Superintendent of Education John White seeking to oust the schools chief.

The Advocate reported Tuesday that Hernandez ruled that the lawsuit's plaintiffs — represented by state Sen. John Milkovich, a Shreveport Democrat — didn't have legal standing to bring the matter to court.

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Hernandez did not rule on the merits of the challenge, which is a question of whether White legally is in office since the state education board didn't revote on his contract when the new term began in 2016.

A similar effort to remove White failed last year for the same reason. In that case, another judge said only Gov. John Bel Edwards, Senate President John Alario, Attorney General Jeff Landry or East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore could bring such legal action.

White, who has been superintendent since 2012, operates on a month-to-month contract. The 11-member state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which hired him six years ago, does not have the eight votes required to extend the contract or fire him.

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Critics say the superintendent's post should be vacated since a new education board was elected in 2015 and hasn't reappointed White or required him to have new confirmation hearings in the state Senate.

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