The effort by the state Senate to gain confirmation power over two more appointees in the Louisiana Department of Education seems a stretch.
Because the department’s offices were reorganized by then-Superintendent Paul Pastorek, the Senate included in the reorganization bill a requirement for Senate confirmation for two newly created posts.
Those are, in the corporate-speak common in the Jindal administration, directors of innovation and of corporate support. Whatever that means, although the department says both are important tasks.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Ollie Tyler, the acting superintendent of the department, opposed adding the jobs to the list of those subject to Senate confirmation. We think the governor and Tyler are right.
In principle, Senate confirmation ought to be limited to offices in government at a high level, with some executive authority on behalf of the department and thus the state. We question whether senators should set a precedent that would involve delving too deeply into the innards of an executive department.
It makes little sense that the two directors’ jobs should be confirmed, but the superintendent of the Recovery School District — with vast authority in schools taken over statewide, including in the Baton Rouge area — should not be a confirmable job. The RSD head is named by the state superintendent directly.
The separation of powers between legislative and executive is tempered by Senate confirmations, but the latter should not be expanded indefinitely.