Sen. Stuart Reid says giving the governor and legislature a say in whomever the state school board picks to be the State Superintendent will foster greater cooperation among those three groups. Reid’s proposal, SJR 12, would require the governor to sign off on any candidate for superintendent and the State Senate to confirm the pick.
“Right now we are fighting and confusing our goals. How can the governor discipline the Legislature on education when they know he has no role in education?” asks Reid.
Reid says the governor has no authority to manage public education, which he feels is absurd given the amount of money the state spends on education.
“The first time we got a budget from the governor when I was in the Senate, a colleague took all of the papers and threw them in the trash. I said I didn’t get a chance to read them. He replied that the governor really doesn’t have a say in education, so he doesn’t have a say in setting the budget.”
SJR 12 would give both the governor and state school board the authority to fire the superintendent if they choose. But he says his bill doesn’t set up the potential for a power grab by the governor’s office.
“You won’t have a governor saying ‘I want my guy’ so he fires the current superintendent in favor of another person. The hiring process is started by school board. It forces all three entities to work together for a common purpose.”
Ultimately, Reid hopes it will lead to a more collaborative process that will improve public education in the state.
“Right now, you’ve the board of education setting policy for education. You’ve got the legislature trying to set policy for education through the budget and the governor saying “Mother may I” to the school board. None of that makes sense to me. We should work together.”