Disappointment Over Superintendent Appointment Bill: House Ed Chair Talks

JACKSON, Miss.–Disappointed is the word Mississippi House Education Chair John Moore used to describe his feelings about the House shooting down a bill that would have made it where your child’s superintendent of education was hired by appointment only, rather than election.

Moore talked about that and what he thinks went wrong with Scott County schools on the JT Show on SuperTalk Mississippi.

“We have so many small districts that don’t have a person that fits the qualified definition of a superintendent,” he said. “Then you have several large districts where multiple people run.”

Moore made no bones about why he thinks the bill died.

“Very sadly this is one of those issues where politics plays into the situation and House members and Senators are afraid to take an elected position away from the local people, even to the detriment of their own people.”

Moore said, for balance, he would like to see a situation where the superintendents are appointed, while the school boards are elected.

“We have several different structures of school boards. We have a mish mash of them, where in some districts all of them are appointed, or some of them are appointed. What happens when you have an all appointed school board and an appointed superintendent, then, technically, the taxpayers have no input.”

Moore said there are times when it is appropriate to get rid of an entire administration. He said from time to time when they are not doing the job, that would be appropriate.

That happened in Scott County last week when all school board members and the superintendent resigned to keep the governor from signing an order for the state to take over the district. The state board of education and the state’s accreditation committee had already approved the takeover.

“It was because of a large number of very serious accreditation violations, accountability violations,” said Moore.

He said it was a unique situation because the district had a “B” rating, but the administration was in a state of collapse. He said usually the schools are also underperforming academically.