BESE meeting on July 14, 2020

Tony Davis, right, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who lives in Natchitoches, announced Thursday he is resigning from the board to take a job in Indiana.

The vice-president of Louisiana's top school board said Thursday night he is resigning his post.

Tony Davis, who lives in Natchitoches, said his private job duties are behind the decision.

"I can't put the time into BESE that it deserves," Davis said, a reference to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The resignation is effective Jan. 20, and Davis plans to attend the December and January meetings of BESE.

Davis is the the lone member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who was re-elected last year without opposition.

He also cast one of the key votes in June when BESE selected Cade Brumley as state superintendent of education.

Davis voted for Brumley in the first round, backed Brumley's chief rival Jessica Baghian in the second round and supported Brumley in the third and decisive tally.

 Davis is one of the board's eight elected members, and all eight were backed by business groups that generally favor major changes in public school operations.

He is the senior director, workforce initiatives, for The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the National Association for Manufacturers. 

Davis, a board member since 2016, is former president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce.

Gov. John Bel Edwards will decide when Davis' vacancy will be decided by voters, possibly in the spring.

Whether the governor will appoint a temporary replacement is unclear.

BESE sets policies for about 720,000 public school students statewide.


Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.