Skip to main content

Should Hernando's Superintendent of Schools Be Elected?

BROOKSVILLE, FL -- March 29, 2020    As the top administrator for the school district, the Superintendent is in the position to oversee day-to-day operations of our schools, direct the implementation of programs, make recommendations for staffing changes, and enforce Board policies. The selection of the Superintendent of Schools is undeniably a matter of great importance to educators, and changes to how the position is to be filled must be considered with care.
Hernando's legislative delegation has set about promoting HB 1635--a bill which would place a referendum on the 2022 ballot asking Hernando County voters to revert the Superintendent of Schools to an elected position. If signed into law, it will be up to the voters of Hernando County to once again determine whether the interests of our students and community are best served by an appointed or an elected Superintendent of Schools. 
The Bill
HB 1635 currently does not have a senate companion. The bill has passed favorably out of two House committees (Local Administration & Veterans Affairs and Early Learning & Elementary Education) and has been referred to the State Affairs committee.
Full text and bill analyses are available here: The Florida Senate (
Nationally, approximately 97.8% of Superintendents are appointed by local, elected school boards. Florida and Alabama are the only two states in the US with school districts led by either elected or appointed superintendents. In Florida, the default is for an elected Superintendent; local voters must weigh in  through a referendum vote on the ballot in order to make the position appointed.
Hernando is currently one of twenty-six (26) counties in the state where voters have approved local referendums to make the Superintendent of Schools an appointed, rather than elected, position. Presented on the ballot for consideration in 1992, Hernando residents voted to empower the elected School Board of Hernando County to oversee the recruitment, vetting, and hiring of professional candidates for the position of Superintendent. This change also charged the elected members of the school board with greater and direct responsibility for holding the Superintendent accountable. 
Statutory responsibilities of the Superintendent of Schools: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (



  • Minimum qualifications for applicants are established by the members of the elected School Board (Superintendent of Schools (

  • After a vetting process, the School Board selects from the applicant pool

  • In the event a suitable applicant is not identified, the search may be extended

  • Allows for a broad candidate search based on professional qualifications, not limited to residents of the county

  • The School Board is charged with holding the Superintendent accountable; may take action as needed

  • Minimum qualifications for candidates established in statute (must be 18, a resident of Hernando County and must ‘qualify’ for the ballot through fees paid or petitions collected)

  • In a partisan election*, voters choose from candidates on the ballot

  • In the event a candidate runs unopposed, he/she takes office

  • Ensures that the Superintendent is a resident with a vested interest in the community

  • The Superintendent is directly accountable to voters in 4-year election cycles

*election requirements for constitutional officers are set statewide for non-charter counties like Hernando.
Related News Articles

Hernando School Board opposes push to return to elected superintendent (

Lawmaker proposes that voters should elect Hernando County superintendent (

Should Hernando elect its school superintendent? Lawmaker says yes. (


HCTA leadership is collecting feedback from stakeholders on this issue. Click here to submit your comments, questions, and concerns.

Share This