Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was created during the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention, called by then Governor Edwin W. Edwards. It was codified as Article VIII of the resulting document, the 1974 Louisiana Constitution.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is the administrative policy-making body for elementary through secondary schools in the State of Louisiana. The BESE provides leadership in setting an education agenda for the continuous improvement of public education as measured by student and school achievement. BESE also strives to improve financing of public education as measured by the effective and efficient use of human and financial resources.
The BESE consists of 11 total members: eight elected members from the eight BESE districts along with three members-at-large appointed by the Governor. The elected members serve 4 year terms, concurrent with the Governor.
The powers and duties of the State Board can be broadly grouped into six main categories, which include:
- Enacting policies and adopting regulations governing the state-wide operations of public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, including special schools and entities in Special School District # l;
- Exercising administrative oversight over functions of the state's three special schools (blind, deaf, physically handicapped), and Special School Districts #1 and #2, including personnel, budget, and program operations;
- Administering and serving as the fiscal agent and as program control agent for the Education Quality Trust Fund (8(g) programs;
- Conducting administrative hearings and serving as the "court of last resort" prior to judicial proceedings in cases/controversies deriving from Board actions;
- Exercising budgetary and fiscal control over the educational programs and services at the elementary and secondary (state and federal funds);
- Preparing the MFP and presenting it to the Legislature for approval and distributing funds to local school systems.
Other activities 
The Board has other more specifically defined duties assigned to it by law. These include:
- Approval of certification requirements for school personnel, including approval of National Teacher Examination scores for classroom teachers and school administrators;
- Adoption of policies for the assessment and evaluation of teachers/administrators;
- Adoption of policies for the assessment of student performance, including the Graduation Exit Exam (GEE), and policies for remediation of students performing below standard;
- Awarding of diplomas and certificates for successful completion of programs of study;
- Serving as local school Board for the state special schools for blind, deaf, and physically handicapped;
- Coordinating the educational programs in the state correctional institutions and mental health facilities (Special School Districts # 1 and # 2);
- Approval of textbooks, library and reference books purchased with state funds;
- Administration of school food service programs in all schools;
- Adoption of operating standards for public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools;
- Administer the 8(g) Quality Trust Fund Program;
- Administer the state's Charter Schools Program.
Current membership 
Five of the following members were elected from BESE electoral districts in 2011 and three, Roemer, King and Hill, won runoffs in 2012:
- 1st District: James Garvey, Jr.
- 2nd District: Kira Orange Jones
- 3rd District: Glenny Lee Buquet
- 4th District: Democrat Walter Lee
- 5th District: Jay Guillot
- 6th District: Republican Charles "Chas" Roemer, IV (Son of former Governor Buddy Roemer and grandson of Charles E. Roemer, II, Louisiana commissioner of administration from 1972 to 1980)
- 7th District: Holly Boffy
- 8th District: Carolyn Hill
- John L. Bennett
- Republican Penny Dastugue (Wife of former State Representative Quentin Dastugue)
- Connie E. Bradford
All candidates but Buquet and Guillot were elected with what was termed "heavy investment and support" by the Louisiana Federation for Children. Five received endorsements from Jindal. That nine member board majority supports school vouchers and charter schools.
See also 
- "BESE purpose, about page". Louisiana Board of Education. Louisiana Board of Education. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- "Duties of BESE". BESE. Louisiana Board of Education. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- Sentell, Will. "Results mean change", The Advocate, Baton Rouge, 2 February 2012. Retrieved on 3 June 2012.
- "Meet the Board" Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Retrieved on 3 June 2012.