Louisiana's top public school board will hire an outside search firm to help screen candidates to be the state's next education superintendent.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's screening committee outlined an application process Tuesday that will include public interviews for the top handful of contenders.

The committee intends to identify three to five finalists for interviews. The job is being vacated in mid-March by longtime Superintendent of Education John White.

The board hopes to hire a new superintendent within months. Louisiana's education superintendent oversees and sets policies governing more than 700,000 public school students across the state.

White has been in the position since 2012.