Tennessean reports on some of the bills where our local and state representatives are trying to repeal a law requiring appointed instead of elected school superintendents.
Friday, May 21, 1999 Today's DNJ reports that the movement to return to elected superintendents has failed to win senate approval.
Thursday, March 11, 1999 The County Commissioners voted 16-5 to support Mrs. Burks' bill to bring back elected school superintendents. Voting yes were Commissioners David Gammon, Lindell Vaughn, Grant Kelley Jr., Robert Peay Jr., Carol Cook, Joe Frank Jernigan, Gary L. Farley, Dwight Throneberry, Steve Sandlin, Anthony Johnson, HEW Committee Chairman Steve Johns, HEW Committee Vice-Chairman Richard W. Sage, Paul Johnson, Jerry Baxter, James Evans Jr., and Steering Committee Chairman Tina Jones.
Voting no were Faye Elam, Budget Committee Chairman Dr. Bob Bullen, Allen McAdoo, Joyce J. Ealy and Trey Gooch. I wonder what was the motivation for the yes voter? The hope they could help get a superintendent elected that would be more open to their way of thinking on school construction? Did you notice the close correlation between this vote and the four who voted Yes to the County School Board's Compromise Proposal that failed 16-4? The four voting Yes were Faye Elam, Budget Committee Chairman Dr. Bob Bullen, Joyce J. Ealy and Trey Gooch. Or the 14-7 vote to appeal Judge Corlew's decision in favor of the school board? I wonder if that is just a coincidence...
State law was changed with the implementation of various Education Improvement acts over the past few years. One of the best changes was the law demanding that all superintendents be appointed. Appointing a superintendent gives a school board the power to recruit and hire a qualified individual from any locale. The hiring of a superintendent ensures the best applicants are considered, with no concerns for his or her current residence or their ability to generate political contributions and actively campaign.
Elected Superintendents brings back the same age old issues of the position going to the individual better equipped to raise campaign funds and getting out the vote. The election process immediately excludes a large pool of qualified applicants simply because they don't currently live in the area in question. Some voters will vote based on the campaigns run by the candidates and not the real educational skills each candidate possesses. Someone else seems to share this view.