JACKSON – House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, said he hopes to name a new member of the state Board of Education before it meets on Aug. 15-16.
The nine-member board that oversees the state’s public schools is one member short. The board met earlier this month with eight members.
Gunn said recently he has approached someone about serving and is “expecting a response soon.” If that person agrees to serve, he or she should be in place for the August meeting and participate as the board hires a new state superintendent of education later this year.
Gunn is trying to fill a slot left vacant when the term of Martha “Jackie” Murphy of Rienzi ended in June. Murphy had been appointed by former Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi.
Both the speaker and lieutenant governor have two appointments to the board while the governor has five. Members serve nine-year terms.
Gunn’s first nominee, Joel Bomgar of Madison, was rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
If Gunn does make “a recess appointment” to the board, his next nominee still must face Senate confirmation during the 2014 session.
Nathan Wells, Gunn’s chief of staff, said in earlier interviews that the speaker will be concerned with finding a board member “eager” to work to improve public education and “with his vision” for public education.
With the end of Murphy’s tenure, only one woman – Kami Bumgarner of Madison – remains on the state board.