Chas Roemer announced Wednesday that he will seek a second term on Louisiana’s top school board this fall.
Sweeping school changes are needed, including an end to teacher tenure, Roemer said as he launched his campaign.
“We spend almost $9 billion in this state in K-12 education and yet the loudest voice in the room is still the cry from the unions, the school board association and the superintendents’ association for more money and more time,” Roemer said in a statement.
“Nonsense,” he added. “What we need is better use of our money.”
Roemer, who lives in Baton Rouge, represents District 6 on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The district includes about half of East Baton Rouge Parish, Livingston Parish and much of Ascension and Tangipahoa parishes.
BESE sets policies for an estimated 668,000 students statewide.
Eight of the seats are on the Oct. 22 primary election ballot. Candidate sign-up is Sept. 6-8.
Three other BESE members are named by the governor.
Roemer repeated his call for an end to tenure, which teachers can get after three years in the classroom if they meet certain standards.
Roemer and other critics say tenure makes it all but impossible to get rid of bad teachers.
Backers of tenure contend that it simply ensures due process for teachers if their job performance is questioned.
Roemer also called for reorganization of the state Department of Education and for steps that would make Louisiana the leading state in the nation in the use of classroom technology.
“My four years on BESE have taught me one thing for certain: the system protects itself more than it protects your child or your tax dollar,” he said.
Others who say that they plan to seek the post are former Ascension Parish Superintendent Donald Songy, who lives in Prairieville, and Elizabeth Meyers, a recently retired teacher who lives in Denham Springs.
Roemer said in an interview that he is unsure how much he will spend on the race.