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Lt. Gov. Casts Vote To Remove Superintendent License Rule

A bill that passed the Senate because of Sue Ellspermann's deciding vote removes a requirement for superintendents to have a specific license.

For the first time in eight years, the lieutenant governor Wednesday broke a tie on a vote in the Indiana Senate. Sue Ellspermann cast the deciding vote in favor of a measure giving local school boards greater flexibility when they hire a superintendent.

As it passed the House, the bill would no longer require school superintendents to have a superintendent’s or teacher’s license. The Senate added a requirement that superintendents have at least a master’s degree. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann voted to pass the measure and says school boards should be able to hire the best candidate, even if that person does not have an educational background.

“We have a great example right now in President Daniels doing a great job at Purdue and we want the best people for those jobs,” she says.

But Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) says superintendents need a background in certain subjects such as school law.

“It makes you wonder how somebody that came, for instance, from the business world without any school law in their background, how they’re going to manage their population at their school without having some liability issues,” she says.

The bill now heads back to the House, which can consent to the changes or send the bill to conference committee for the two houses to negotiate their differences.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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