Selected SLC Research


Policy Analysis | April 12, 2012

How are local-level superintendents chosen in the SLC member states?

In most of the SLC member states (12 of 15), local-level school superintendents are appointed by their school board. Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi are the three exceptions, where some superintendents are appointed and others elected.

Selection Methods for Local Superintendents in the SLC Member States

Alabama There are 128 local superintendents. There are city superintendents and county superintendents. City superintendents are appointed by city school boards. Twenty-seven county superintendents are appointed by county school boards and 40 are elected.
Arkansas There are 310 local superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Florida There are 67 county superintendents. County superintendents are elected, although local electors may choose to make county superintendents appointed by county school boards. In fact, 44 county superintendents are elected and 23 are appointed by county school boards.
Georgia There are 181 local superintendents. There are city superintendents and county superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Kentucky Local school board members are elected. There are county superintendents and independent superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Louisiana There are 68 local superintendents. There are parish (county) superintendents and city superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Mississippi There are 152 local superintendents. There are consolidated school district superintendents, county school district superintendents and municipal school district superintendents. Some local superintendents are elected, while other local superintendents are appointed.
Missouri There are 524 local superintendents. There are metropolitan superintendents, seven director superintendents, special superintendents and urban superintendents. Local superintendents are apponted by local school boards.
North Carolina There are 117 local superintendents. There are city superintendents and county superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Oklahoma There are 538 local superintendents. There are elementary superintendents and independent superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
South Carolina There are 85 local superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Tennessee There are 136 local superintendents. There are city superintendents, county superintendents and special superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Texas There are 1,043 local superintendents. There are common school district superintendents, common consolidated county-line school district superintendents, common consolidated school district superintendents, independent school district superintendents, municipal school district superintendents and rural high school district superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
Virginia There are 133 local superintendents. There are city superintendents, county superintendents, single county superintendents and town superintendents. Local superintendents are appointed by local school boards.
West Virginia There are 55 county superintendents. County superintendents are appointed by county school boards.

Source: Education Commission of the States