BESE's Responsibility
Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership and creates policies for education that expand opportunities for children, empower families and communities, and advance Louisiana in an increasingly competitive global market.  For BESE's official mission statement, goals, and philosophy, click here.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) was established by the Louisiana Constitution with the responsibility for governing all Louisiana public schools within the following categories:

  • Elementary schools
  • Secondary schools (middle and high schools)
  • Special schools for the deaf, blind, and physically handicapped
  • Educational units in the state’s correctional institutions and mental facilities (Special School Districts 1 and 2).

To meet this responsibility, BESE has the authority to create policies that govern the statewide operations of public and non-public schools, to administer the budget for educational programs and services at those schools, and to conduct administrative hearings to resolve any conflict concerning its policies and actions.  For a more detailed listing of BESE’s powers and duties, click here.

BESE members do not receive salaries, health benefits, or retirement benefits. For each day of service at committee meetings, board meetings, or while on business assigned by the Board, they receive the standard per diem provided by law for members of the state Legislature.  Members are reimbursed for travel expenses incurred to attend Committee/Board meetings, as well as other activities they attend in their capacity as a member of the Board.