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Appointed School Superintendent
Public education has been a long-standing area of study and interest for the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area. Foremost among the reforms, which we believe would be beneficial to our school system, is the appointment of the district’s school superintendent by the elected school board.
While the overwhelming majority of school systems in the United States (including a number of Florida districts) appoint their superintendents, Escambia County voters have rejected several ballot opportunities to move the office to an appointed position. As a result, ours is the last large Florida county in which the office of superintendent remains elective.
Although appointment of the superintendent is not a panacea for an administration, this election year seems an appropriate time to remind Escambia County citizens of the significant and worthy benefits to be gained from adopting this reform:
Dr. William Maloy, a former superintendent of Escambia County schools, supports the appointment of the superintendent and, indeed, did so while serving in that office. Applauding the earlier adoption of non-partisan election of school boards, Maloy further editorialized that school districts would benefit if school boards were non-salaried and expanded to include at-large members. “We might be surprised at how many good, thoughtful people would serve.”
Would it not make sense to continue to elect school board members and, in turn, give them the responsibility of selecting a superintendent with the appropriate qualifications to oversee the district school system?
Our students, teachers and principals would benefit from a more harmonious, efficient and productive administration and citizens would need look no further than their elected school board to express their desires, blame or praise.
With the adoption of an appointed school superintendent, the voters of Escambia County would replace politics with professionalism, taking a giant step toward excellence in education.
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