Covering Louisiana

Oct 18, 2013 5:17 PM by AP

Jindal taps former lawmaker for education board

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A former state lawmaker was appointed Friday by Gov. Bobby Jindal to the vacant seat on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Jane Smith, a former Bossier Parish schools superintendent, will be one of the governor's three appointees to the 11-member board. The other eight BESE members are elected officials.

Smith spent 12 years in the state House of Representatives until she was term-limited, and she has more than 30 years of educational experience, including as a teacher and principal. Her husband is an assistant superintendent in Bossier Parish.

"Jane is bringing critical education experience and a lifelong passion for education to BESE. Her commitment to the academic success of Louisiana's children will help us continue to ensure all of our families have an equal opportunity to a quality education," Jindal said in a statement.

Currently, Smith works for the Department of Revenue as its legislative liaison. She had previously worked as interim secretary of the department for Jindal when he was trying to find someone permanent for the job.

Smith takes the BESE seat once held by Stephen Waguespack, who left the board after being chosen president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

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