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Elected school boards, appointed superintendents bills move out of House Ed Committee

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 31, 2014

Lawmakers target elected school chiefs

School districts with elected superintendents would vote this November on whether to switch to an appointed superintendent under legislation passed Thursday by the House Education Committee.

The effort is the latest attempt to change the governance structure of Mississippi’s public school districts.

The state currently has a hodgepodge, but in general most municipal districts have an appointed school board and superintendent and most county systems have elected superintendents and school boards.

In addition to passing legislation to have voters decide whether they want to switch from an elected to an appointed superintendent, the Education Committee also approved a bill to make all school board members elected by 2018.

The Legislature has been grappling for years with the governance of the state’s 153 school districts, which will be trimmed to about 146 once mandated consolidation is completed in the coming years.

Legislation to make all superintendents appointed has passed the Senate multiple times, but died in the House.

About 60 of the nation’s roughly 145 elected superintendents are in Mississippi.

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.