Superintendent of Schools
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The Superintendent of Schools, also known as the Superintendent of Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction, or Chief School Administrator, is a statewide office responsible for overseeing and coordinating the state's elementary and secondary schools.
Within the U.S., school superintendents are usually selected by members of the particular district's school board. Often, the superintendent sits on the board as a non-voting member. School boards may consist of either appointed or elected members. Likewise, the superintendent's position also varies by state.
Some states may require a candidate for the superintendency to hold a Ph.D., Ed.D., or similar terminal degree. An active teaching certification is also a common requirement.
An appointed superintendent may have a set term and thus be subject to reappointment. In addition to this, appointed superintendents serve at the pleasure of the appointing body or official and may be fired or asked to resign. For instance, in August of 2010, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dismissed the state's Commissioner of Education.
|Quick facts about Superintendents of Schools|
List of Current Superintendents of Schools
Elected vs. appointed
While the vast majority of the states that do have the statewide governmental position authorize the governor to appoint an individual to the office, there are at least 13 others who have opted to have public voters select the officeholders. These states include Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin and, until 2013, Wyoming*.
*A new law signed on January 29, 2013 replaced the elected Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction as head of the state Department of Education with a director appointed by the governor. Superintendent Cindy Hill filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the measure. The position of superintendent remains but is no longer head of the DOE. Click here to view the full Senate file text of the law.
- See also: State executive official elections, 2014
Eight states will hold regularly scheduled superintendent elections in the 2014 electoral cycle:
Wisconsin was the only state with a scheduled superintendent election in the 2013 electoral cycle. Incumbent superintendent Tony Evers ran for and won re-election to the nonpartisan post. He defeated one challenger, Republican state rep. Don Pridemore, in the general election on April 2, 2013, earning approximately 61% of the vote.
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- State executive offices
- State executive official elections, 2012
- State executive official elections, 2013
- State executive official elections, 2014