Bill to strip qualifications for education commissioner clears House committee | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bill to strip qualifications for education commissioner clears House committee

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:17 AM

click to enlarge BRUCE COZART: Pushed bill to clear making Johnny Key the state education commissioner.
  • BRUCE COZART: Pushed bill to clear making Johnny Key the state education commissioner.
Over objections from some members, the House Education Committee today approved SB 681 to eliminate the requirement that the education commissioner have a teacher's certificate, a master's degree and 10 years of teaching and administrative experience.

The bill is necessary for Johnny Key to get the job, as Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants. He's a former senator and once owned a religious-themed pre-school.

Rep. John Walker questioned Rep. Bruce Cozart, who carried the bill, on the rationale for eliminating the qualifications. Cozart said it had been done before, when Shane Broadway was named to head Higher Education despite lacking a doctoral degree then required by law. Walker said the circumstances were different. Broadway was just an administrator. Key, he noted, will be running schools, including the 48 in Little Rock, now under state control.

Cozart noted that the bill will require that the deputy commissioner meet qualifications if the commissioner does not.

Cozart said Key was a "great person and he will do a great job." Rep. Charlotte Douglas said Key probably learned more about education sitting on legislative education committees than many superintendents who'd be qualified for the job. Rep. Reginald Murdock wondered about the danger of setting a precedent. Cozart said the legislature changes precedents every day. He said there are a lot of "self-made people who have no education."

Walker said that qualifications had often been held up as a bar to jobs for minorities and now the state was eliminating them from an important job.

Some Democrats joined in the vote to approve Key, who is personally well liked and is perceived as a better choice than others Hutchinson was likely to come up with. Supporters of the Little Rock School District best hope it wasn't a test vote on the school privatization bill being pushed by Walton Family Foundation-funded lobbyists and the governor. Key, a long-time charter school advocate, is likely to move aggressively to take over operation of Little Rock schools, taxes and facilities for operation by private companies under another bill Cozart has introduced.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Federal judge reprimands John Goodson for misconduct in class-action case

    John Goodson  — the Texarkana attorney, D.C. lobbyist, and husband of Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson — was reprimanded today by a federal judge for his conduct in a class-action case.
    • Aug 3, 2016
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation