Monday, February 18, 2013

Check out the Governor's new friends

Be careful Governor. Some of your friends don't know how to keep their mouths shut. The Desoto Times reported:

"All Mississippi superintendents would be appointed by January 2016 under legislation the Senate approved Tuesday.

The bill, which passed 44-6 on Tuesday, requires people in school districts who currently elect their superintendent and want to keep it that way to gather signatures to hold a referendum.

Unless 1,500 registered voters or 20 percent of the registered voters, whichever is less, petition for a referendum on the issue, the elected superintendent will be replaced by an appointed one.

A House bill which has been tabled subject to recall does not allow for a public referendum on the appointed or elected superintendent matter and that fact does not sit well with State Rep. Wanda Jennings, R-Southaven, a member of the House Education Committee.

"I think DeSoto County deserves the right to vote on the matter," Jennings said. "We've had a long line of elected superintendents who have done a wonderful job. I don't see the need for the State of Mississippi to change the rules when we're doing so well."

DeSoto County Superintendent of Education Milton Kuykendall, now in his 10th year as superintendent of the state's largest public school district, said the public's support is key.

"Regardless if superintendents are appointed or elected they have to have the support of the community to get anything accomplished," Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall said both appointed and elected superintendents must be effective leaders in their communities, not to mention champions of education.

"I've known some great elected superintendents and some great appointed ones," Kuykendall said in an interview Wednesday. Kuykendall's twin brother Malcolm was an example of an appointed superintendent.

Kuykendall said he has been heartened as of late by a show of personal support from Gov. Phil Bryant who met with members of the Mississippi Association of Superintendents recently at the Capitol.

As a sign that Bryant and his relationship with educators has thawed greatly, three key provisions in House Bill 890, an education bill, which could have drastically affected districts like Rankin, Madison and DeSoto counties, among them charter schools, were taken out of that particular bill, according to Kuykendall. The bill also included a $5,000 pay raise for teachers.

"He took appointed superintendents out of the bill, charter schools and school choice," Kuykendall said. "I think the governor is trying to work with the superintendents. He is not the driving force behind the (charter school effort)."

As a result of Bryant's extending the olive branch, the Mississippi Association of Superintendents endorsed House Bill 890.


While charter school legislation winds its way through the legislative process, Kuykendall said a far more dangerous piece of legislation is House Bill 1004, sponsored by Rep. John Moore, R-Rankin County, chairman of the House Education Committee.

House Bill 1004 would provide vouchers using public money for the state’s 60,000-plus special education students in public schools to attend private schools or allow them to attend public schools where state-of-the-art special education programs exists, such as DeSoto County, known nationally for its special education programs.

If that happens, DeSoto County could be adversely affected, according to Kuykendall.

House Bill 1004 concerns me most," Kuykendall said. "It's a killer for good school districts. DeSoto County has probably a little better (special education) programs than most. Under this bill we would gain 1,000 kids in a year."

In Kuykendall's mind that would create overcrowding and the need for more facilities, at a cost to taxpayers.

"I'm opposed to anybody coming to our schools whose parents or legal guardians don't live here. We have put 100 kids out of school this year because their parents falsified information about where they live
." Article

As for appointed Superintendents, electing Superintendents is one of the reasons Mississippi is last in education. Get away from the tri-county area and Desoto. How many people living in a county are actually qualified to run a school district? One? Two? Maybe half a dozen? Electing superintendents intentionally and artificially deprives a school district of the best qualified candidates. Suppose Mr. Kuykendall retires, bless his soul. Then a few years later another district that is rated "F" wants to hire him but since he doesn't live in the district and thus can't run for office, tough luck. The Parents Campaign, of all people, outlines the case against elected Superintendents quite nicely in this little column.

5 comments:

Shadowfax said...

You accuse people of not being able to read or 'cipher' and then you post something that takes fifteen minutes to pour through. I have no clue what your background it, but, if you ever took a course or two in journalism, did you not learn to get to the damned point and be at least somewhat brief? Or is it simply your intention that a few legislators, the governor and superintendents read this?

Anonymous said...

Kingfish opines that one or three or six people in a District (who run for election) could run a school. How many, then, under an appointed system could run the same school? Is the answer one brother-in-law of the appointing authority, or none?

Anonymous said...

No dumba** at 3:23 - the concept of appointed superintendents is that the local board is not limited to registered voters in the county. Just as any private business would do when trying to hire someone to run their operation, they can expand the geographic search outside the county lines - hell, maybe they even go across state lines like the DOE has done when they hired the last several State Superintendents.

BTW, prior to William 'the Great' Winter's education reform act in 1982, MS elected the State Superintendent of Education. Part of that reform was to hire a superintendent, and not be limited to registered voters in MS who chose to put their name on the ballot, despite any particular qualifications.

ShadowB-DUURRRRRRR! said...

"pour through"? Methinks you mean "pore over", genius.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one pours 'over' something he's considering or meticulously wading through, as in a book or data. One pours 'through' as in piss out of a boot, as in your comment, genius. But, 8:56, in spite of his foul mouth, has an interesting point about appointing someone who doesn't even live in the district. Not sure that's in the cards.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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