Senators Back Off Elected School Boards

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Mississippi senators are pulling back from a plan to elect all local school board members.

Senate Bill 2141 had called for all school board members to run for four-year terms in years that voters choose a governor. But senators voted 50-1 for an amended bill Thursday to instead study the issue.

Currently, some city school board members are elected and others are appointed. County board members are generally elected. Members, under differing laws, serve four-, five- and six-year terms.

Supporters of elections say voters should choose because board members can raise property taxes.

Opponents say many good appointed board members wouldn't endure running for office.
They also warn that forcing all board members to run at once, instead of retaining staggered terms as now exist, could wipe out experienced members.