Lawmakers Push for Elected School Board Members

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Some lawmakers want voters to elect all school board members in Mississippi.

The Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 2141 on a split voice vote Tuesday.

Sponsored by Sen. Tony Smith, a Picayune Republican, the measure mandates all board members run for four-year terms beginning at the 2016 presidential election. School districts would be cut into five equal zones and candidates would run in nonpartisan races.

County school boards are elected, but city school boards are appointed or a mix of elected and appointed positions.

Smith says he wants voters to be able to change boards they don't like.

Sen. David Jordan, a Greenwood Democrat, amended the bill to require school board members complete at least one year of college.

Lawmakers are also pushing for all superintendents to be appointed.