Rosemary Aultman, Chair of the State Board of Education, says she expects the entire process will take about six months.

Rosemary Aultman, Chair of the Mississippi State Board of Education, told Y’all Politics that on May 26th, the Board will hold a meeting where they will review a proposed timeline for the State Superintendent search to replace Wright.

Aultman said the first step will be to release a Request for Proposals for a vendor to conduct the search for candidates. A sub-committee of board members will review the proposals and select vendors to make an in-person presentation to the full Board.

“The goal is to have a vendor under contract by July 1, 2022, with a proposed 90 day turn around to provide the Board will a slate of qualified applicants, after which time the Board will conduct face to face interviews with selected candidates. I expect the entire process will take about six months,” Aultman said.

On April 21, Mississippi’s State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright announced that she will retire effective June 30, 2022. Wright served in the education field for 50 years and is ranked nationally as one of the longest-serving state education chiefs of the 21st century.

Wright became the State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi in 2013. According to a release from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), Wright’s tenure in Mississippi has been marked by more student gains than any state superintendent of education since the Education Reform Act of 1982 established the SBE.

“Leading education in Mississippi has been the honor and privilege of my life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity I have been given to work with dedicated educators and leaders across Mississippi, the entire Mississippi Department of Education team and committed State Board members and legislative leaders. Together we have worked to make a difference in the lives of children.” Dr. Wright said. “Most especially, I am incredibly proud of Mississippi students. There is no limit to what they can accomplish.”

Governor Tate Reeves told Y’all Politics that Dr. Wright deserves tremendous credit for her efforts to improve education.

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“Mississippi continues to see tremendous gains in educational achievement by students and schools,” Governor Reeves said. “This includes the highest high school graduation rate and lowest dropout rate in state history and ranking in the top of the nation for NAEP gains. I look forward to working with the next state superintendent to do whatever necessary to keep building on these historic gains and moving our state even further ahead in education.”

State Senator Dennis DeBar, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, discussed what he would like to see with education in the state going forward under the new State Superintendent of Education. 

“We are grateful for Dr. Wright’s service to our state,” Senator DeBar said. “With many schools closed during the pandemic, we have to refocus our attention on accountability to ensure our children have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful after high school. We will continue to increase access to early learning, encourage innovations like modified calendars, and look at how we can maximize the dollars our public schools are receiving.”