The Senate voted 44-6 to approve Senate Bill 2199 Tuesday. The bill calls for all local superintendents to be appointed by school boards, unless voters opt out.
Now, 62 superintendents in county districts are elected. Heads of the remaining 89 city and county districts are appointed.
Proponents say appointment widens the pool of school leaders beyond district residents.
Superintendents could still be elected in any district where voters choose to continue. A referendum would be called if 20 percent of registered voters — or 1,500 voters, whichever is less — sign a petition. Under an amendment by Sen. David Blount, a Jackson Democrat, such elections could only be held in Nov. 2013 or Nov. 2014.
More in Wednesday's NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.