Exerts from Mississippi Press Opinion:

Two of Jackson County’s state senators – Tony Smith of District 47 and Michael Watson of District 51, both Republicans – have co-authored Senate Bill 2190, an act that would require all Mississippi school district boards of trustees to be elected and all school superintendents to be appointed by those boards…

…After all, allowing the public the right to elect these officials would both hold the board members responsible for their decisions and require the members to listen intently to the public. Removing the buffer of appointment only encourages accountability to the taxpayers…

…There is really no upside for a council to appoint school board members; the process only insulates the school board from the public.

It is true that electing school board members could increase the political nature of that board, but it also places such wrangling in its appropriate place instead of passing it through to those who should be apolitical, such as superintendents and other staff within a school district.

The politics of our democratic republic is not a bad thing if it gives the public access to a governing body, especially one that is spending your tax dollars and affecting the lives of your children and grandchildren.

Under this bill — SB 2190 — all school districts would be required to hold board of trustees elections coinciding with municipal elections, meaning that when you vote to elect the City Council, you would also vote to elect school board members. The school board’s length of term would also be reduced from five years to four years, bringing it in line with municipal officials…

…The ultimate goal for any school board is to successfully educate our youth, making them productive and contributing members of society. Giving the taxpayers the opportunity to elect the trustees would make the processes and policies used to achieve this goal more transparent while increasing accountability and dialogue…

Gulflive.com / Mississippi Press
Pascagoula City Councilman Frank Corder
2/6/12
Link:
http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-opinion/2012/02/bill_that_allows_citizens_to_elect_school_board_members_is_overdue_letter.html