Last Modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:49 PM
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's top school board has tapped a Seattle education official to be executive director, despite complaints that officials passed over qualified applicants from Louisiana.
Heather Cope, an official with the League of Education Voters, will be paid $125,000 per year as executive director of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
BESE sets policies for about 700,000 public school students statewide. The executive director is responsible for administrative and financial operations of the board office.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/OiEBZL ) that BESE chose Cope in an 8-2 vote Wednesday.
BESE Vice-President Chas Roemer says Cope was impressive in her interview and has political and education policy experience.
Board member Lottie Beebe called the hiring a "travesty," saying there were as many as 10 well-qualified candidates for the job from Louisiana.
BESE President Penny Dastugue said 27 people applied for the job and four were interviewed.