A lawsuit that attempted to vacate the State Superintendent of Education’s position failed in court yesterday, no doubt leaving the governor’s office a bit upset.
It’s no secret that John Bel Edwards isn’t a fan of White. He made promises on the campaign trail to get rid of him, after all. The tossed lawsuit was filed by a group of citizens, all of whom were represented by Democrat John Milkovich, a state senator from Shreveport.
The lawsuit’s claim was that, because the current Senate hasn’t reconfirmed White and because BESE hasn’t rehired him, his job should be vacated. However, the suit lost in appeals court yesterday.
“We believe that all of our legal options are on the table,” Milkovich said when asked if he plans to take the case to the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge. He maintains that White is “illegally in office.”
The suit alleges the Common Care academic standards pushed by White are “substantively and academically flawed.” White has run afoul of the governor and former Gov. Bobby Jindal over Common Core.
“He’s forced Common Core down the throats of Louisiana students, parents and teachers,” Milkovich said of White outside Morvant’s 19th Judicial District courtroom.
Joan Hunt, who represents the state Department of Education and White, urged Morvant to dismiss the suit, saying the plaintiffs had no right to challenge White’s job.
Milkovich countered that White cannot “stay in office forever.” He also argued that Common Core is “driving some of our best teachers out of the system.”
Milkovich said the taxpayers he represents have a right to challenge White’s superintendency, but Morvant reminded, “This is not a tax case.”
White’s tenure as state superintendent hasn’t been without controversy. Brought on by Edwards’ predecessor, Bobby Jindal, he has had public clashes with both over education policy, particularly where Common Core is concerned.
However, White is also an advocate for school choice, and the best asset school choice advocates have in the state of Louisiana. He has been a huge backer of efforts to open up choice for students in Louisiana, and providing good education options for students who need to get out of flailing schools.
It’s a fairly simple equation: if Edwards, who is wrong on absolutely everything he’s said and done so far as governor, wants White gone, then White is a pretty good guy to keep for that job. And, as conservatives, supporting school choice advocates who are under assault by politicians beholden to unions (among others) is a no-brainer.
White’s victory in court is a win for Louisiana’s students.