State leaders push for all appointed school superintendents - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State leaders push for all appointed school superintendents

Mississippi is one of only three states that allows for elected superintendents. Florida and Alabama also allow election. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one of only three states that allows for elected superintendents. Florida and Alabama also allow election. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's school superintendents reach the top spot in different ways. Some are elected, while others are appointed.

"You will see us talk about appointed school superintendents, not electing them," said Governor Phil Bryant last week.

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor want to take elections out of the equation for district leaders. The State Association of Superintendents has opposed that in year's past.

Now, that the group isn't taking a position.

"There's less than one percent difference in student outcomes between elected and appointed superintendents," noted Dr. Sam Bounds, Mississippi Association of School Superintendents President. "So, if you're gonna change from elected to appointed, there needs to be a reason to change."

Some said appointments by the school board would take politics out of it.

"I've seen superintendents during the third year, if they have an opponent, are spending time focusing on running a political campaign," explained Pearl's appointed superintendent Dr. Ray Morgigno.

Elected superintendents still weren't quick to say that it should be there way or the highway.

"I think it would be fine for the people in each of those counties to make that decision," said newly elected DeSoto County Superintendent Cory Uselton.


"I do think from an appointed standpoint you're taking out some of the local I would say input that you may receive," added Madison County Superintendent Dr. Ronnie McGehee.

One note is that a move to all appointed superintendents would likely mean a salary increase for districts that currently have elected officials. Salaries are usually higher in appointed district because they are trying to attract the best candidate.

Mississippi is one of only three states that allows for elected superintendents. Florida and Alabama also allow election.

There are currently 55 elected and 89 appointed superintendents in Mississippi. That's more elected than in any other state.

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