Move to appoint school superintendents gets little traction

The House on Tuesday voted 66-53 against a bill that would have required voters to decide in November whether their local districts should change from elected to appointed superintendents. House Bill 825 called for a direct referendum in the roughly 60 of 148 state districts that have elected superintendents.

The Senate passed a bill 43-8 on Tuesday to require superintendents to be appointed after July 2016, unless enough voters sign petitions to require a referendum. But that faces dim prospects in the House.

Supporters of appointing superintendents say it “increases the gene pool” for those running school districts, allowing school boards to search nationwide for qualified candidates as opposed to voters picking from the few qualified residents willing to run for office.

Clarion Ledger