Florida superintendents come out against proposal to do away with electing superintendents

Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning testifies Nov. 27, 2017, against a proposal to end the election of superintendents. [The Florida Channel]
Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning testifies Nov. 27, 2017, against a proposal to end the election of superintendents. [The Florida Channel]
Published

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents, or FADSS, released a statement Wednesday that it does not support a statewide proposal that would do away with the election of school superintendents.

The statement comes the day before Thursday's Constitutional Revision Commission Local Government Committee meeting, where the proposal will go for consideration and a vote.

If passed, Constitution Revision Commission Proposal 33 would require all Florida school boards to appoint their superintendent, a practice common among larger school districts. The proposal would affect 41 smaller, more rural school districts.

"Florida is a diverse state and the challenges of each county are not taken into account when constitutional mandates are unilaterally applied and citizens are denied their right to local decision-making," the statement read. "The citizens in local communities have a better understanding of what is needed for their community and should have the right to exercise local control in deciding whether their school superintendent is elected or appointed."

It continued, "If Proposal 33 goes on the ballot, the citizens in the more populous areas of the state will be able to overturn the current constitutional provision which currently allows local citizens in
41 Florida counties to vote regarding the selection of their local school district superintendent. Essentially, the right to vote in smaller counties could be overridden by the citizens in larger, more populous areas of the state. Therefore, Florida superintendents cannot support Proposal 33."

The statement adds that FADSS, by a unanimous vote held at a recent conference in Tampa, is opposed to a proposal to enact term limits for elected school board members.  The group questions why school board members "have been singled out over other locally elected county officials."

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