The Elmore County Board of Education is asking the Alabama Legislature to pass legislation in the upcoming session to allow the Elmore County Schools Superintendent to be an appointed position rather than elected by voters.
The school board passed a resolution in October that said appointing a local school superintendent is "a more widely utilized mode of selection for the chief officer of a school system."
"[The board] supports legislation requiring the appointment of a local school superintendent and urges its local legislators to introduce a local bill to transition the Elmore County Board of Education superintendent office to an appointed position," the resolution read.
The Autauga County Board of Education passed a similar resolution in 2019.
State Rep. Troy Stubbs (R-Wetumpka) told 1819 News in a phone interview: "Being an elected official myself, I do believe that if you have a person who has to run for office every four years or is up for election every four years, I don't know how a person could effectively run a school system the size of ours having to run a campaign for a year leading up to an election."
"I do also believe that if this moves forward, it puts a lot of additional responsibilities and expectations on the school board members," he added. "They ultimately would be the ones making those decisions (on) hiring the superintendent or in some circumstances firing the superintendent so their responsibilities and expectations would be elevated."
A spokesperson for the Elmore County Board of Education told Elmore Autauga News in October that "there are many statistics supporting" the change from elected to appointed superintendents and that Alabama is "one of less than five states in the United States that has elected superintendents."
Justin Pack, an Eclectic resident who spoke against the resolution at the board's meeting in October, told 1819 News that "there's a much higher level of accountability" with an elected superintendent.
"It's also just the principle that we're a very conservative county," Pack said. "You've got 60,000 plus registered voters in Elmore County. Now, you're taking it down to seven and essentially four people that can vote for this now. People are just a little upset that it wasn't presented in public and allowed to debate and get the public's opinion on. We don't agree with changing it over to an appointed position. We should be able to choose who our superintendent is."
According to the Alabama Secretary of State's Office, 36 counties currently have elected superintendents.
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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