Iowa Lawmaker Wants One School Superintendent Per County

Iowa lawmaker wants one school superintendent per county

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa lawmaker wants to limit the state to one school superintendent in each county.

Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, says the administrative costs being carried by school districts is too high.

He says there are nine superintendents in Polk County and 12 in Linn County. McCoy has introduced a bill that would cap the number of superintendents to one per county by 2013.

The proposal has been criticized by some rural lawmakers, including Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, who says student test scores and graduation rates are higher in rural districts.

McCoy says the current economic crisis means lawmakers have to look everywhere for savings, including schools. He says his proposal would save up to $22 million a year.

Per the article above states, Iowa Senator McCoy introduced a bill that would cap the number of superintendents to one per county by 2013. For the reason of not knowing the workload of superintendents, I’m not sure whether this bill is a good idea or not, but one thing that I am sure of is that it would most definitely save a great deal of money that ought to be saved.

Readers, has your state ever proposed a bill like this one? do you think this proposed bill should be passed, would it be a good idea for this bill to be passed?

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Patrick Broyles

Where the population of rural counties is small and there may be only one school district then of course one superintendent makes sense. However, where there are numerous high schools and school districts within the same county then the idea is illogical. What the reason for the action is, is completely in the right direction. There are so many unneeded bureaucrats now in the public school systems that the expense of our taxes is outrageous. Why are there unneeded bureaucrats? Because the Federal Government and Teacher Unions demand idiotic and unnecessary paperwork. Get it back to where it was when I was in school in the 50s and everyone was taught how to read and write, not make up excuses with silly programs to solve the genetic problem of just being stupid.

June Breivik

The schools and the requirements have changed a lot since the 50’s, and as to beeing stupid: what is stupid? We all benifit from the students having the best qualifications when they leave school. I was principal for 4 rural schools, and the ones who found this most difficult was the teachers. We have to look for new models for our school system, and this beeing a Web 2.0 community; we have to look into the opportunities these tools give us.

Michael O. Johnston


I agree with the idea of having less superintendents for those smaller rural counties in Iowa, but most of the time there are usually more than one school district in those counties. As of lately there are less and less school districts in rural communities as many of the school districts (in Iowa at least) are combining because its hard to keep enrollment up and thus hard to maintain funding.

However, as the article states, students in rural school districts in Iowa have higher test scores and graduation rates than other districts in Iowa, is that something we should sacrifice? I think that the solution is deeper than just cutting x amount of superintendents to save money, and that there should be (and hopefully will be) if the bill passes, precautionary measures to sustain the high quality education that many of the school districts have in Iowa.

As a sort of a side-note and fun fact to add to this article, the population of individuals under the age of 18 yrs old (the population most likely to be in school) for those counties mentioned above in the article who have large numbers of superintendents (e.g. Polk and Linn County), include:

Polk County (9 Superintendents): 110,859.835
Linn County (12 Superintendents): 51,459


I agree that schools requirements have changed a ton since the 50’s, it has changed a great deal at the elementary level where I work in after school care and I graduated high-school in 2003 (the method in which the students use to complete simple mathematic problems has changed a great deal from the methods that I remember using). Thus, I am glad to see education evolving in the direction to a hopefully “better”, more full-filling education system for todays students.

Patrick and June:

I think you both hit the nail on the head with this issue, and that is Iowa does not need the waste of “un-needed” bureaucrats, especially in the Web 2.0 community we live in today. Thus, as June pointed out about Web 2.0, I believe that this tool can provide the education system a great deal of savings in time, cost, and the amount of individuals (and/or the salary) that it requires to get the job done.