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Bill Giving Senate Power To Pick Maryland Schools Chief Draws Fire

February 19th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

A bid to require the new state superintendent of schools to receive Senate approval sparked floor debate Thursday, with several senators questioning why it is necessary.

"What brought this issue about?" state Sen. Wayne Norman, R-Harford/Cecil, asked Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, D-Prince George's, sponsor of an emergency bill to give the Senate the final nod on the superintendent choice.

The Herald Mail reports Pinsky said other states had decided that lawmakers should have a voice in selecting their superintendents.

He also pointed out that the pending departure of interim Superintendent Jack R. Smith, who has been tapped for Montgomery County superintendent, offered an opportunity for the Senate to have a voice in selecting the next one.

When Norman asked whether there had been criticism of the current process, in which the superintendent is chosen by the Maryland State Board of Education, Pinsky demurred.

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