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Before a packed meeting room, Louisiana State Education Superintendent John White, right, finishes presenting a plan to revamp public schools at the BESE meeting Wednesday March 29, 2017, in Baton Rouge, La.. Watching is Assistant Louisiana State Education Superintendent Jessica Baghian, left,


The state's top school board plans to hold a closed door discussion Aug. 16 on state Superintendent of Education John White's contract, officials said Monday.

The conversation, which was added to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's agenda announced Saturday, may be the extent of talks on White's future.

While BESE members could take a vote on the superintendent's contract after the executive session, no such tally is planned now.

White, who is paid $275,000 per year, has been operating on a month-to-month agreement for the past 18 months.

Backers do not have enough votes to extend the contract, and critics do not have the support to fire him.

Last month Kathy Edmonston, a member of BESE, said she wanted the 11-member panel to vote on White's contract.

Edmonston, who lives in Gonzales, said the board has been remiss in not tackling the issue, and she said her constituents do not generally back White.

But Edmonston and others critical of White's tenure have said any move to remove him would likely fail, possibly on a 7-4 vote.

White has said he plans to remain in the job as long as BESE wants him to do so.

BESE sets policies for about 700,000 public school students statewide.

The superintendent is in charge of carrying out those policies.

White is already set to undergo his annual evaluation in executive session on Aug. 16.

He has won favorable reviews in his four previous job checks.

The other item for that closed meeting is "personnel matters regarding the state Superintendent of Education."

BESE President Gary Jones, who lives in Alexandria, said Monday he has not seen any changes in White's standing with BESE.

"From my perspective it looks like everything is pretty much as it has been," Jones said.

Edmonston could not be reached for comment.

White, who has been superintendent since 2012, is considered an ally of those who favor major changes in education, including vouchers, charter schools and teacher reviews.

He has often clashed with traditional public school groups, including Louisiana's two teacher unions and the Louisiana School Boards Association.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is also a longtime critic of the superintendent.

The governor has three appointees on BESE.

The board is set to hold its annual retreat on Aug. 14.

Committee meetings are set for Aug. 15, with full board action the following day.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.