Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bill could abolish state superintendent's job

If Sen. Jerry Tillman has his way,  voters will decide in November whether to abolish the elected superintendent's job and replace that post with an appointed education secretary.

Tillman,  who chairs the Senate Education Committee,  introduced a bill Wednesday that would put the question on the November ballot,  with the switch taking effect when the current superintendent's term ends in 2016.  Because the superintendent is among eight Council of State offices created by the state constitution,  the change requires a constititional amendment.

Tillman is a Republican and June Atkinson,  who has held the superintendent's office since 2005,  is a Democrat.  But the push to change the way the Department of Public Instruction is run has been bipartisan.

For more than a decade,  the state Board of Education hired a deputy superintendent who ran DPI.  Soon after Democrat Bev Perdue was elected in 2009,  she created a new CEO's job to run the department,  appointing Bill Harrison as CEO and chairman of the state board.  Atkinson sued and won,  giving her clear authority over DPI.

Atkinson said Wednesday she hadn't seen Tillman's bill but it wouldn't be the first time lawmakers have tried to abolish the elected job and replace it with a political appointee.  Tillman's bill goes to the Senate Education Committee, where I'm guessing it will get a favorable reception.


Wiley Coyote said...

Appointed, elected, no difference.

Pamela Grundy said...

If North Carolina voters wish to elect a superintendent of schools whose vision aligns with that of other elected officials, they are perfectly capable of doing so. As is so often the case, the term "efficient" is code for "not having to bother with the inconvenience of actually consulting voters."

With other elected positions, questions of education policy frequently get lost amid other pressing issues. The people of North Carolina are much better off with the opportunity to participate in at least one statewide election that is specifically focused on education.

Take back our schools said...

Pam, while you are somewhat right, more and more North Carolina voters want the schools to be responsible for raising their children. The just want to birth them and get the government check. They do not want their check to have to feed and clothe their children.

They care less about education. They just want their children out of the tax payer funded housing so they can sleep off the night before.

Too many voters do not understand this government dependency drive by the feds and past NC governments is not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Anytime you take a vote away from the people and put a position in the hands of a few- it weakens democracy. This is a bad move!!!! Kill this bill!

Anonymous said...

Wiley, you are probably correct , people usually vote along party lines without actually looking at who is running, fairly ignorant but true. But then again, most of us undertsand that you would have an easier time of winning the lottery than finding an honest politican in either party, they are so rare.

Anonymous said...

Kill the bill.. Let the people vote... If you don't think there is a difference, your not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Please note that the citizens do get a vote in all this--they have to approve the amendment before the superintendent's position can be abolished.

Wiley Coyote said...


Then that pretty much sums up the reason for the dismal failure of the Obama administration and why our democracy is so weak.

So much for Obama's pen and phone philosophy of bypassing congress.

We didn't get to vote for:


Until the public education system is totally revamped, it won't matter if the head of NCDPI is appointed, anointed, elected or we draw their name out of a hat.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, I am confused! Haven't Presidential appointments existed since the time of George Washington? How is this a bad thing now? Weren't those people picked by the President and confirmed by the Senate? Don't we elect Senators? Therefore in a Representative Democracy the Senate is representing the people, right? I think for a group that wraps itself with the U.S. Constitution the Republicans are passing legislation that is directly contradictory to the U.S. Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Keep the vote...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wiley (the name fits) just wants the rules to apply to his political party of preference. When the next GOP president is elected in possibly 2022, I want him to also complain as the President exercises the normal practice of picking his or her cabinet members.

Wiley Coyote said...


Read 1:08's comment and you'll understand my response.

Then read my first comment at the top of the page.

LadyLiberty1885 - A.P. Dillon said...

Maybe Atkinson hasn't seen it since it was filed this week and she was in India.

Yes, India.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah... I liked NC better when we all worked together.. Now it's one extreme to the other. Winner take all. Leave the vote.

Wiley Coyote said...

1:25 AM

I'm a registered Independent. I have no party, don't want one.

Anonymous said...

We dont need her or Arnie "Basketball Jones" Duncan

They do nothing to improve the day to day education of our children.

Expensive talking heads