Hernando legislative delegation approves Blaise Ingoglia proposal to elect school superintendent

The Hernando County Schools Superintendent is currently an appointed post.

FLAPOL | by Kelly Hayes | February 17, 2021

The Hernando County legislative delegation voted unanimously to file a local bill that would change the appointed position of the School Board Superintendent to an elected one.

Rep. Blaise Ingoglia proposed the local bill during the county’s legislative delegation meeting Friday. The delegation is made up of Reps. Ingoglia and Ralph Massullo, as well as Senate President Wilton Simpson, who was unable to attend the meeting.

The bill would create a ballot measure in 2022 that would allow voters to decide to repeal a section of Florida law that enables the School Board to appoint the superintendent instead of electing an individual to that position.

If passed by voters, the next election for the Hernando County Superintendent would be on the 2026 ballot.

The shift would make the job a partisan office — and it’s not a new concept for Hernando County.

Hernando voters stopped electing superintendents in 1992 after opting for an appointment system, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.

“I will continue to stand up for the good teachers, the parents and the kids. It’s about time they had a direct say in how our students are educated,” Ingoglia wrote in a Facebook post.

Critics of the move say it would make the position more political, and fear it may lead to a less experienced individual in the position. It would also make it much more difficult to remove a Superintendent from office.

“Blaise I was raised both ways elected and appointed. Elected turned out to be a terrible idea,” one Facebook commenter wrote.

Others who support the idea say it allows for more of a voice from parents rather than a couple school board members. Neighboring Pasco and Citrus counties both opt for an elected Superintendent position, Ingoglia pointed out in his post.

Photo: TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/27/21-Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, during the House Public Integrity & Elections Committee meeting, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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