Alabama's deputy state superintendent of education, Joe Morton, is now Alabama's interim superintendent of education.
Before moving to the state department of education, Morton served as superintendent for Sumter County and Sylacauga public schools.
The Alabama Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to have Morton replace Ed Richardson, who is leaving to be interim president of Auburn University.
Morton takes over during a year when budget cuts have curtailed textbook and computer purchases. He says his immediate goal is to work with the Legislature to restore funding cuts.
Morton, 57, was a finalist for the state superintendent's job in 1995 when Richardson was hired. Morton then joined the state Department of Education as deputy superintendent.