JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - The Senate Education Committee today passed legislation improving the governance of school districts through appointed superintendents, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. Senate Bill 2438 moves to the full Senate for consideration.
"The current model of electing superintendents strictly limits the ability of local communities to find the best candidate for the job," Lt. Gov. Reeves said in an issued news release Wednesday. "Districts should be able to choose highly qualified candidates to lead their schools without the limits of an individual's geography and desire to run for office."
Mississippi is one of the few states that continues to elect superintendents. There are currently 55 elected superintendents in the state. The bill does not prohibit local boards from appointing their current leaders, according to the release.
The release states that 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.
The Senate has passed the bill several times in recent years; however the measure has not survived the House, according to the release.
"I believe this is the year Mississippi finally takes that crucial step in improving district management," Lt. Gov. Reeves said.