Pros and cons of having an appointed superintendent of public instruction in Leon County, 1963

Pros and cons of having an appointed superintendent of public instruction in Leon County, 1963



Referendum Election
November 5, 1963

All registered voters of Leon County may vote on the proposal to have the County Superintendent of Public Instruction appointed by the County Board of Public Instruction instead of elected by the people.
The term of office of the County Superintendent would continue to be four years. After four years, Leon County could return to the elective system by another referendum election or by special act of the Legislature.

Under the present system, there are no educational or professional qualifications for County Superintendent. Any person who fancies himself as an educator, or who simply needs a job, may run for the top administrative post in the county school system if he is a qualified elector of Leon County.
Appointment of the County Superintendent would:
1. Take the position out of politics and allow the superintendent to devote his full time to education instead of running a political campaign every four years.
2. Permit employment of a highly qualified man, regardless of his place of residence, and assure professional administration of the school system.
3. Clarify lines of responsibility, the Superintendent being responsible to the County Board, and the Board to the people. Determination of school policies would still be in the hands of officials directly responsible to the voters, since Board members must answer for their policies at the polls every two years.

The National Education Association has favored an appointive superintendent for many years. Most school systems in the United States have one.

Any change which makes any part of our government less directly responsible to the will of the people is an infringement of the democratic principles on which our government is based. County officials should be selected from legal residents of the county.
Part-time jobs as members of the County Board do not make these five men better qualified than the voters to select the County Superintendent. And why should the will of three out of five men (a majority of the Board) replace the will of the majority of the voters?
The County Superintendent is more than an administrative officer. His powers and duties are such that he helps formulate policy and, as a policy-making official, he should be directly responsible to the people.

(Prepared and published by the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee as a public service)


State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0167


A flier produced by the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee describing the pros and cons of having an appointed county superintendent of public instruction. There was an upcoming referendum on the topic on November 5, 1963.