RANKINS v. STATE BD. OF ELEM. & SEC. EDUC.
637 So.2d 548 (1994)
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit.
March 17, 1994.
While plaintiffs are correct in their assertion that the statute is devoid of legislative intent regarding graduation exit exams, this silence does not imply that BESE exceeded the scope of its authority. Under La.R.S. 17:6(A)(15), BESE has broad powers to perform such functions as are necessary for the supervision and control of public education. Because the legislature has not expressed a contrary intent3, BESE retains the power under this statute to implement the GEE as a graduation requirement.
For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that BESE has authority to establish the GEE as a requirement for obtaining a state high school diploma. Having reached this conclusion, we now consider whether BESE's administration of the GEE violates the equal protection clause.EQUAL PROTECTION
In challenging BESE's GEE policy, plaintiffs note that students attending state approved non-public schools, home study students, and persons obtaining a General Educational Development Diploma (GED), are not required to take the GEE prior to receiving a state diploma. On the other hand, public school students must successfully complete the 23 Carnegie units and pass the GEE before obtaining a state diploma. Based on this uneven administration of the GEE, the trial judge concluded "that the Graduate Exit Exam (GEE) has been unconstitutionally administered in violation of the Equal Protection Laws of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. and Louisiana Constitution[s]."
After a careful review of the applicable constitutional provisions and jurisprudence, we conclude that the trial judge erred in holding that the GEE is being administered in violation of the equal protection clause.
A. BESE's Authority Over Non-public Schools