BESE Duties and Powers

The powers and duties of the Board can be broadly grouped into six main categories, which include:

  • Enacting policies and adopting regulations governing the state-wide operations of public and private elementary/secondary schools, including special schools and entities in Special School Districts 1 and 2;
  • Exercising oversight over functions of the state's three special schools (blind, deaf, physically handicapped), and Special School Districts 1 and 2, including budget and program operations;
  • Administering “8(g)” Education Quality Trust Fund programs and serving as their fiscal/program-control agent;
  • Conducting administrative judicial hearings in cases of conflict deriving from Board policies/actions;
  • Exercising budgetary and fiscal control over state and federal funds for educational programs and services at elementary and secondary schools; and
  • Preparing the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), presenting it to the Legislature for approval, and distributing funds to local school systems.

The Board has other more specifically defined duties assigned to it by law. These include:

  • Approval of certification requirements for school personnel, including National Teacher Examination scores for classroom teachers and school administrators
  • Adoption of policies for the assessment and evaluation of teachers/administrators;
  • Adoption of policies for the assessment of student performance and for the remediation of students performing below standard;
  • Awarding of diplomas and certificates for successful completion of programs of study;
  • Serving as the local school board for Louisiana’s special schools for the blind, deaf, and physically handicapped;
  • Coordinating the educational programs in Louisiana’s correctional institutions and mental health facilities (Special School Districts 1 and 2);
  • Approval of textbooks, library books, and reference material purchased with state funds;
  • Administration of school food service programs in all schools;
  • Adoption of operating standards for public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools;
  • Administer the 8(g) Quality Trust Fund Program; and
  • Administer the state's charter schools program.