JACKSON -- The post of state superintendent of education, which is expected to be filled later this year, is no doubt an attractive opening for an ambitious educator.
But the post does come with some perils and drawbacks. New accreditation standards are upping the ante as far as pressure on the post at the same time the Legislature continues to underfund the schools -- by $1.28 billion since fiscal year 2009.
Plus, the perception by some is that the state Board of Education, which will hire and supervise the superintendent, has lost some of its clout with the new Republican majorities in the House, Senate and Governor's Mansion.
A possible example of the lost clout is that the during the 2013 seession the Legislature bypassed the existing state Board of Education and created another board to oversee charter schools.
JACKSON -- Speculation is that state House Speaker Philip Gunn's name should be added to the long list of possible candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in 2014 if incumbent Thad Cochran opts to retire.
It is anybody's guess right now what Cochran might do.
But many speculate that Gunn, along with many other of the state's political leaders, might be interested if Cochran does retire,
Perhaps that issue came up last week when Gunn hosted an after-hours meal in his state Capitol office for Billy Mounger, Billy Powell and Wirt Yerger, three legendary king makers in state Republican Party circles.