Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19: Vote Yes On Appointed Monroe County School Superintendent

By Sylvia Gurinsky

School matters in Florida are too complicated to leave them only in the hands of elected officials.

That's quite true in Monroe County, whose last elected school superintendent, Randy Acevedo, was removed from office after he was found guilty for trying to cover up his wife's spending of district money. After that, Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Joseph Burke, with more than 35 years of education experience, as acting superintendent.

No system is perfect, of course: Appointed superintendents have had their legal troubles and have been subject to the whims of finicky school boards and dissatisfied parents. But should a school superintendent have to undergo the same kind of mud-slinging that's contaminating this year's Florida campaigns for governor and U.S. Senator? No way.

Elected superintendents are from a far simpler time, when there were one-room schoolhouses and districts didn't have to worry about overcrowding, multi-lingual education, Sunshine State Standards and the strangling ties of the FCAT.

School superintendents should have a free hand to tackle those issues. Therefore, Monroe County voters should say Yes to allowing the county school board to appoint the superintendent.

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