Making Superintendent of Education a Gubernatorial Appointment

S.27 is a companion bill to S.137, a joint resolution that proposes that the superintendent of education be appointed by the governor instead of elected. S.27 would adjust the necessary code sections after the constitutional amendment is adopted. It would set strict qualifications for the superintendent, including a master’s degree and broad-based experience in the field of public education, or a master’s degree and extensive experience in operational and financial management. It also requires any judicial action challenging the candidate’s qualifications to be brought within 30 days of the close of candidate filing. Finally, it would put the superintendent’s salary under the Agency Head Salary Commission rather than setting it by statute.

As the superintendent of education is an executive position, it should be appointed by and accountable to the governor. However, as the Senate would be able to confirm the governor’s pick, the strict qualifications in this bill are not only unnecessary but a way of exerting additional control over the governor’s selection. Currently, as the superintendent of education is an elected position, there are no statutory qualifications for that office.

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