I’d like to interrupt the intense debate over school funding and Initiative 42 for a moment to bring you my semi-annual column on how daft it is to elect our school superintendents.
State Superintendent Carey Wright and Board of Education officials at the recent state budget hearings said changing from elected to appointed superintendents remains a top legislative priority. But this appeared to go unnoticed by lawmakers on the budget committee. They were too busy trying to cajole agency heads into saying passage of Initiative 42 would cause layoffs, military base closures, tooth decay, a spike in teen pregnancy and generally sink the commonweal into pestilence and despair.
Funding, or lack thereof, is, has been and probably will be the top issue for our public school system. But I posit that the problems caused by a system of elected superintendents pose the second-most clear and present danger.