Senate Bill 2438 to mandate appointments
Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2016
On April 4, Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2438, which will change how the position of county school district superintendent will be filled from an elected to an appointed position.
According to the bill, after January 1, 2019, superintendents in all public school districts will be appointed by the school board.
At the expiration of the term of county superintendents elected in November 2015, their replacements will be appointed, the bill states.
Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin is the only elected superintendent in the county. His four-year term began this January and will end December 2019.
Lumpkin said he supports the bill and that is has many valid points.
“For one, it takes the political process out of it,” Lumpkin said. “Being a superintendent is a full time job and during an election year, you spend a lot of time out of the district running for office. You can now focus all your time and attention on your district.”
Lumpkin’s term began in the middle of the school year, which he said would be a difficult time of year for a new superintendent to assume the position. One of the positive changes is that now the school board will be able to set appointments at the beginning and end of the school year, he added. Board members will also set term limits.
Currently, only people who live within a school district can run for the superintendent’s office, Lumpkin said. Now, school boards will have access to a larger pool of qualified applicants, he said, is another valid point of the bill.
“I will do my job to the best of my abilities whether elected or appointed,” Lumpkin said. “I have a great working relationship with the board and we have five excellent leaders who lead by example. I look forward to the next four years working with them and in the future if they appoint me.”
Read the bill in its entirety at http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2016/pdf/history/SB/SB2438.xml.