SENATE PASSES BILL REQUIRING APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS

JACKSON – Legislation modernizing school governance through appointed superintendents passed the Senate in a large bipartisan vote today, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. Senate Bill 2438 moves to the House for consideration.

The bill, authored by Education Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, mandates that school boards hire superintendents to run daily operations. The change would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“I appreciate the work of Chairman Tollison and the entire Senate in moving this important legislation,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Limiting the pool of qualified educators to political boundaries hampers many school districts’ opportunities for success. Districts should be able to perform broad searches to find leaders who will inspire teachers and encourage students to learn.”

Few states have elected superintendents managing schools. Of the last eight school districts taken over by state officials for academic or financial mismanagement, six were managed by elected superintendents.

There are currently 55 elected superintendents in the state, which serve with elected school boards. The bill does not prohibit local boards from appointing current leaders.

The Senate has passed the bill several times in recent years; however the measure has not survived the House.

2/11/16