About Jim Garvey
Jim Garvey has successfully to improve public education.
Under Jim’s leadership as Vice President of BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education), our state has made tremendous strides in education. Originally elected to the District 1 BESE seat in 2007, Jim presided over an unprecedented growth in academic achievement. Since 2008, the percentage of students who have scored “Basic” or above has increased to almost 70 percent. He has also overseen the nation’s highest increase in the number of students who are earning college credit through Advanced Placement testing. Also during Jim’s tenure, a record 75 percent of Louisiana students completed high school on time, up from 66 percent when he took office.
Jim has also been on the leading edge in pushing for new policies and programs that have advanced reform in Louisiana education. He has successfully advocated for the unification of early childhood care within our education system. All Louisiana school districts are now participating in early childhood care and education network pilot programs, ahead of schedule for statewide implementation. Through BESE, Jim worked with the legislature to give local superintendents and principals more independence in their own school districts. BESE also helped simplify Louisiana’s accountability system by using letter grades to inform parents and students of their school’s performance.
Jim has worked tirelessly to expand educational options for
Louisiana families, and he is a strong advocate for school choice.
During Jim’s tenure, the number of charter schools in the state has risen dramatically, from 51 to 98 in just 6 years. Enrollment in these schools also increased from 19,539 to 51,362. In addition, approximately 7,400 students were awarded scholarships to attend 131 different non-public schools of their choice.
Jim is committed to the education of every child in our state. Louisiana now offers tuition assistance for families with children who have special needs, allowing over 300 students to attend specialized schools to meet their unique needs.
Jim is deeply rooted in our community and invested in its future.
Born and raised in Metairie, Jim graduated from Jesuit High School in 1982. He earned his Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from Loyola University in 1987. Jim returned to his alma mater in 1991 to receive both his Masters of Business Administration and Juris Doctorate. Jim would go on to become a certified public accountant in 1994. He still resides in Metairie today with his wife, Kathy. Together, they have four children, James, Tommy, Darcy, and Ellie. As busy as he is, Jim enjoys cattle farming and forestry on his farm in St. Tammany Parish, as well as hiking, fishing, and backpacking with his family.
As Board member for BESE District 1, Jim Garvey will continue to stand for higher performance, greater accountability, and local decisions in our schools.
For a copy of Jim's résumé, please click here.
For additional photos of Jim Garvey, please click here.