A bill that elevates Vermont’s education chief is now on the desk of Governor Peter Shumlin. The bill had been sought by Shumlin and at least two of his predecessors.
The measure changes the title of the education commissioner to secretary. And rather than have that person appointed by the state Board of Education, he or she will be selected by the governor from three nominees suggested by the board, with the appointee then confirmed by the Senate. The secretary also will sit on the governor’s cabinet.
Backers of the change say it will make the head of the state’s education system more accountable. Critics say it will inject more politics into school policy.
The change takes effect next January.