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Louisiana school districts

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K-12 Education in Louisiana
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Education facts
State Superintendent: John White
Number of students: 703,390[1]
Number of teachers: 48,657
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14.5
Number of school districts: 132
Number of schools: 1,437
Graduation rate: 72%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $10,723[3]
See also
Louisiana Department of EducationList of school districts in LouisianaLouisianaSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Louisiana
Glossary of education terms

Louisiana is home to 1,437 schools and 703,390 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Chas Roemer, President, Sixth District
    • James D. Garvey, Jr., Vice President, First District
    • Kira Orange Jones, Second District
    • Dr. Lottie Beebe, Third District
    • Walter Lee, Fourth District
    • Jay Guillot, Fifth District
    • Holly Boffy, Seventh District
    • Carolyn Hill, Eighth District
    • Connie E. Bradford, Member At-Large
    • Dr. Judith Miranti, Member At-Large
    • Jane Smith, Member At-Large


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Jefferson Parish Public School System
2.) East Baton Rouge Parish School System
3.) Caddo Parish Public Schools
4.) St. Tammany Parish Public Schools
5.) Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
6.) Lafayette Parish School System
7.) Livingston Parish Public Schools
8.) Rapides Parish School System
9.) Bossier Parish Schools
10.) Ascension Parish Schools


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Louisiana as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[5]

Demographic information for Louisiana's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 5,479 0.78% 1.10%
Asian 10,300 1.46% 4.68%
African American 316,947 45.06% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 427 0.06% 0.42%
Hispanic 28,276 4.02% 24.37%
White 333,736 47.45% 51.21%
Two or more 8,225 1.17% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Common Core lawsuit regarding Gov. Bobby Jindal

In early July 2014, the Louisiana Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE) voted 6-3 to proceed with hiring lawyers in a suit against Gov. Bobby Jindal. The decision comes after what BESE President Chas Roemer states as Gov. Jindal overstepping constitutional authority in regards to Common Core. Jindal had previously been a supporter of Common Core, but in early 2014 stated that he now opposed it. As a result, in June 2014, Jindal set forth a plan to drop Common Core and instead promote a new standardized test, developed by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, to decide whether or not students have met the standards. According to the BESE, that's an overstep in his power as governor. Education Superintendent John White stated, "We're at a crossroads. It's not a crossroads about Common Core. It's not a crossroads about PARCC. Finance and purchasing have collided with academic policy, and there's a question about who makes the decision."[6]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Louisiana State Board of Education adopted the standards on July 1, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.[7][8]

In June 2014, Governor Bobby Jindal made an executive order that would effectively, albeit indirectly, withdraw Louisiana from Common Core. The order required competitive bidding for education standards tests. Because the Common Core testing program is among the most expensive of these tests, it is unlikely that the tests could be purchased is a competitive bidding process. Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White, however, insisted that the state would continue with Common Core. White said, "The state will continue to implement the Common Core Standards [...] this is a long term plan we have been working on for four years and committed to another 10 years of implementation. We are not willing to subject our children to last minute changes to throw our system into educational chaos."[9][10]

School board composition

The composition of school boards in Louisiana varies widely; they can have anywhere from seven to 15 members. Each local school board is responsible for establishing its own size, policies and procedures.[11] They generally serve four-year terms, with elections occurring in even-numbered years.

District type

Most of Louisiana's school districts are called "parish school boards." There are also a select number of city school districts that were each established by special act and constitutional amendment. Those are Baker, Bogalusa, Central, Monroe and Zachary Community School District, Louisiana.[12]

Term limits

Act 386 of the 2012 legislative session provided for an election in every school district, with limited exceptions*, on November 6, 2012, to determine whether the members of the local school board in each district shall have term limits. In the November election of 2012, term limits were approved by voters in every school district in which the measure was on the ballot.[13]

  • Act 386 did not apply to the Recovery School District (which is operated by the DOE and has no board), the governing authority of any charter school and the school boards of Lafayette Parish and Jefferson Parish (which already had term limits in effect).[13][14]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Louisiana school board elections, 2015

There are no Louisiana school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment holding regular general elections in 2015. However, two districts will hold special elections for a total of three seats, one up for election in March and two in October.

Louisiana school board elections require a majority of 50 percent plus one for a candidate to win. If a candidate garners this majority in what is called the primary election, no general election is held. If no candidate receives the majority of votes, a general election is held and functions as a runoff election.

The districts served a total of 56,569 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Both districts have on seat up for special election, each. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Louisiana School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools: District 14 3/28/2015 1 15 37,058
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools: District 12 10/24/2015 1 15 37,058
Tangipahoa Parish School System 10/24/2015 1 9 19,511

Path to the ballot

In order to become a candidate for a school board in Louisiana, the Louisiana Secretary of State outlines the following:

By the date of qualification, the candidate shall have attained the age of 18, resided in Louisiana for the preceding 2 years, and have been actually domiciled for the preceding year in the parish, ward, or district from which the candidate seeks election. The candidate shall be able to read and write. At the next regular election following reapportionment an elector may qualify in any district created in whole or in part from a district existing prior to reapportionment if he was domiciled in the prior district for at least 1 year immediately preceding his qualification and was a resident of Louisiana for the 2 years preceding his qualification. If elected must change domicile to district before being sworn in. No person elected to serve as a member of a school board for more than two and one-half terms in three consecutive terms, such service being during terms that began on or after January 1, 2014, shall be elected for the succeeding term. [15]

—Louisiana Secretary of State, (2013), [16]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 16, 2013
  5. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  6. The Times-Picayune, "For possible Common Core suit against Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana education board OKs hiring lawyers," accessed July 1, 2014
  7. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  8. Louisiana Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  9. Fox News, "Jindal order would make Louisiana latest state to pull out of Common Core," June 18, 2014
  10. The Times-Picayune, "Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to scuttle Common Core leaves Louisiana education system in confusion," June 18, 2014
  11. Louisiana State Legislature, "Powers and Duties of School Boards and Parish Superintendents," accessed July 11, 2014
  12. United States Census Bureau, "Louisiana," accessed July 11, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Project Vote Smart, "HB 292 - School Board Member Term Limits - Key Vote," accessed July 11, 2014
  14. The Town Talk, "Another View: Term limits for Louisiana school board members could boost interest," October 27, 2012
  15. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  16. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Qualifications of Candidates," June, 2013