Bills push appointed superintendents, new ratings

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s local school superintendents would have to be appointed by 2016, unless voters opt to keep electing their local chief, under a Senate bill passed Tuesday.

Another bill would require the state Department of Education to rate schools and school districts on an “A” to “F” scale, instead of the current seven-step range from “star” to “failing.”

Mississippi has 152 school districts. The Mississippi Economic Council says that right now, 64 county districts have elected superintendents who run on partisan ballots for four-year terms.

Superintendents in all city districts are already appointed.

Senate Bill 2313 would require that elections cease after the current term ending in 2016, unless 20 percent of registered voters in a county school district petition to keep an elected superintendent and voters agree in a referendum.