Election of Madison County School Superintendent is Uncommon Across Nation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Madison County Schools superintendent hasn't always been an elected position.  In 1991, a voter referendum changed it from being an appointed position to being an elected office.

At Tuesday night's public forum, candidates were to be asked if they would support changing the position back to an appointed position.

Ron Klein, the chairman of the Committee of 100, wants the position to be appointed once again.

He argues that by keeping it as an elected office, the county cannot do a nationwide search for the best person for the job.

The Committee of 100 was one of three groups that organized the public forum for the superintendent candidates.

Incumbent David Copeland is running against Buckhorn High school teacher Matt Massey and Sparkman Middle School Principal Ron Blair.

Only about 120 school districts out of 15,000 districts nationwide in the country still elect the superintendent.  They are all in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Rep. Wayne Johnson of Huntsville wants the process for Madison County Schools superintendent to stay as it is.  He said his constituents told him they don't want to lose their right to vote.

But other state lawmakers are open to the idea of changing it back to an appointed position.

Klein said proponents of changing it to an appointed position plan to approach lawmakers about a voter referendum in the next legislative session in 2015.

The Madison County School district has an elected superintendent and County School Board.

In Huntsville, school board members are elected.  They hire the superintendent.

In Madison, the City Council appoints school board members who then appoint the superintendent.

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