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Supt. White fights back over allegations of wrongdoing

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BATON ROUGE - The state Superintendent of Education sent a four-page letter to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Wednesday to clear up rhetoric where he says unfounded allegations are being made.

The letter goes into detail about travel expenses that he was reimbursed for and how the state became involved with the Common Core education standards.

White and Governor Jindal are at odds over Common Core, with White opposing Jindal's attempts to remove the state from the program.

White said in the letter, "there is no means whereby any member of my team or I could benefit from a relationship the department has with a testing vendor."

Outspoken critics like Lee Barrios of Abita Springs say they have had enough.

"Monday, I'm filing an ethics complaint," Barrios told News 2.

In the letter, White admits he uses his personal credit card for travel and then gets reimbursed.

"My understanding is public officials should not use personal cards because they are untraceable on a day by day basis," Barrios said. "You can't FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) someone's personal card."

White contends all of his travel has been approved by the Ethics Board. 

"I file the appropriate form with the Board of Ethics, notifying them of such a transaction for their review," White said.

To read the letter White sent to the BESE Board, click here.

On a separate issue today, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols requested more information from BESE about paying for lawyers to sue the state about the common core debate. Nichols said a firm can't represent a party in an action adverse to the state.

BESE President Chas Roemer contends the Jindal administration is questioning the very provisions it has with its own lawyers.



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