If you haven’t been following along, I’m sure the last thing on your ballot caught your attention. Shall the superintendent of schools in Escambia County be appointed by the school board?
In 2017-2018 Escambia County ranked 52nd out of 67 school districts in the State of Florida. Furthermore, 14 out of 15 lowest performing Florida school districts elect their superintendent, instead of allowing the elected school board members to appoint one.
Those eye-opening stats were enough to get local leaders’ attention and a plan was put in place to get Escambia County an appointed superintendent. On January 1, 2019 only 80 of the 13,657 school districts in the United States will be electing its superintendent.
The charge led by Quint Studer and D.C. Reeves gained support rapidly throughout the community and luckily Escambia County won’t be one of those districts with a dying format and way of the past much longer. After the results were tallied there were 62,263 “yes” votes compared to 61,372 “no” votes.
Malcolm Thomas, the current superintendent, has declared that he will retire when his term expires in 2020, so either way, the county would be getting a new superintendent.
In the past, candidates for superintendent were not required to have any experience in education and we’ve been constrained to choosing a leader who must reside in Escambia County. That won’t be the case any longer and this is a big step in taking politics out of schools.