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State Commission To Weigh Changes To How School Superintendents Are Chosen

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission must complete its work by May 10, 2018, which is the deadline to submit its final report to the Florida Secretary of State.

Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Most superintendents in Florida, 41 of 67, are elected by popular vote.  That stands in contrast to the vast majority in the country where school superintendents are typically selected by members of school boards.

Beginning Monday, members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commissionwill consider whether that position should be one appointed by school boards.

State Senator Bill Montford, CEO of the Florida Association of District Superintendents, says there's nothing wrong with the current system. But the proposal's author, Collier County School Board member Erika Donalds, says the amendment would ensure that superintendents would be hired based on their qualifications and not where they live. The elected model limits candidates to their respective counties.

The committee meetings are just a first step in advancing the potential constitutional changes. To end up on the 2018 general ballot, 22 of the 37 members of the commission would eventually have to approve each proposal.


Copyright 2017 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.
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