Louisiana Common Core Hearing Will Exclude Public Comments

Louisiana_state_flagThe Advocate reports that the Louisiana House Education Committee plans to hold a hearing on the Common Core State Standards.  They only plan to invite Superintendent of Education John White and Chas Roemer, the president of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Louisiana House Education Committee Chairman Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, said the gathering will give committee members, and any other House member who wants to attend, a chance to pose questions.

Carter said no legislation is pending before the committee, and the Legislature does not launch its 2014 regular session until March 10.

“Since we can’t vote on anything I don’t see the reason for us to have it open,” Carter said, meaning a hearing where the public can weigh in.

Others disagreed.

“I think that anytime such major initiatives are addressed by the Legislature that will affect every student, every parent, every citizen in Louisiana that there should be consideration given to allowing for stakeholder input and citizen input,” said Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association.

Debbie Meaux, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators, said the hearing seems to be a way for White and Roemer to address legislators “without any interference from outside sources.

“It always concerns me that the public isn’t allowed to give input of any kind at a public meeting,” Meaux said.

This hearing should be made public.  The decision to close the meeting to the public and only invite speakers who pro-Common Core lacks transparency.

7 thoughts on “Louisiana Common Core Hearing Will Exclude Public Comments

      1. From The People , LLC

        UPDATE: We have heard from one rep. regarding the legality of the HOUSE BRIEFING on COMMON CORE today:

        According to an email sent to the rep. from Alfred W. Speers, Clerk for the House of Reps., Mr. Speers is advising members that today’s event is a “gathering” as opposed to a “meeting”; and, therefore, is not subject to Open Meetings Laws.

        Mr. Speers’s opinion is based on an exception for the legislature that provides for “chance meetings”, “social gatherings”, or “gatherings where information is presented” if “no vote will be taken.” In the case of “gatherings” of a quorum of the legislature, Open Meetings Laws do not apply.

        The People, LLC contends that resting their actions on this opinion of Mr. Speers is foolhardy when the definition of a “meeting” is what defines the briefing today:

        La RS 42:13(A)(1) “Convening of a quorum of the public body solely to receive information regarding any matter over which the body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power is also a ‘meeting’.” In which case, Open Meetings Laws do apply.

        The key difference being that the House of Representatives will be receiving information regarding a matter over which they most definitely have control and policy-making ability.

  1. Just great and what I would expect a “public hearing” with no public comment allowed……priceless only in Lousyana !!!!!!!!! 🙂

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