Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oregon state seal.png
Great Seal of the State of Oregon
Details of Office
Branch Executive
Type Nonpartisan
Selection Statewide election
Term 4 years
Authority Constitution
Established 1872
Abolished 2012

The Superintendent of Public Instruction, sometimes referred to as the State Superintendent of Schools, was a constitutional office[1] within the executive branch of the Oregon state government from 1872 to 2012 when it was eliminated by state law. The Superintendent acted as administrative officer of the State Board of Education and was executive head of the Department of Education. The Superintendent was elected by the people of Oregon in a nonpartisan statewide ballot for a term of office of four years.

Duties[edit]

The superintendent's responsibilities included providing leadership for some 551,290 elementary and secondary students in Oregon’s 198 school districts, as well as those enrolled in public preschool programs, the state Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, programs for children with disabilities and education programs for young people in statewide juvenile corrections facilities.[2]

The superintendent had no direct control over policy, which was set by the Board of Education, and which adopts rules affecting local school districts, who are ultimately responsible for establishing policy at the district level.[3] As chief administrator, however, the superintendent had considerable influence on policy through recommendation to the Board, and certification and licensing authority.[2]

As chief administrative officer for the Department of Education, the superintendent oversaw state funding for schools, and made budget recommendations to the Governor's office, subject to action by the state legislature.[2]

Office elimination[edit]

As part of an education overhaul, a 2011 state law eliminated the elected office of Superintendent and made the Governor the Superintendent, with the responsibility of appointing a Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. The appointee must further have at least five years of experience as a school administrator and is subject to approval by the Oregon Senate.[4] The law enacting the change took effect when Susan Castillo, the last person to be elected to the position, resigned to take a job in the private sector on June 29, 2012.[5][6][7]

Accompanying the elimination of the elected office of Superintendent was the establishment of a 12-member Oregon Education Investment Board, which hired Rudy Crew as the state's first Chief Education Officer.[8] His contract with the state pays him more than the combined salaries of the governor, state treasurer and secretary of state.[8]

In July 2012, Governor Kitzhaber appointed Tigard-Tualatin School District superintendent Rob Saxton to serve as the first deputy superintendent.[9]

List of Oregon's superintendents of public instruction[edit]

The following table lists the twenty individuals who held the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction with dates of service:[10]

# Name Term
1 Sylvester C. Simpson January 30, 1873 – September 14, 1874[11]
2 Levi L. Rowland September 14, 1874 – September 9, 1878[11]
3 Leonard J. Powell September 9, 1878 – September 11, 1882[11]
4 Ebenezer B. McElroy September 11, 1882 – January 14, 1895[11]
5 George M. Irwin January 14, 1895 – January 9, 1899[11]
6 John H. Ackerman January 9, 1899 – January 3, 1911
7 Lewis R. Alderman January 4, 1911 – June 28, 1913
8 Julius A. Churchill July 1, 1913 – June 1, 1926
9 Richard R. Turner June 1, 1926 – January 3, 1927
10 Charles A. Howard January 3, 1927 – September 1, 1937
11 Rex Putnam September 1, 1937 – January 31, 1961
12 Leon P. Minear February 1, 1961 – March 31, 1968
13 Jesse V. Fasold April 1, 1968 – July 1, 1968
14 Dale Parnell July 1, 1968 – April 1, 1974
15 Jesse V. Fasold April 1, 1974 – January 6, 1975
16 Verne Duncan January 6, 1975 – November 15, 1989
17 John Erickson December 18, 1989 – September 30, 1990
18 Norma Paulus October 1, 1990 – January 3, 1999
19 Stan Bunn January 4, 1999 – January 5, 2003
20 Susan Castillo January 6, 2003 – June 29, 2012

References[edit]

  1. ^ OR Const. art. VIII.
  2. ^ a b c "Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo". Oregon Blue Book (Online). Oregon Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Why have this position?". The Register-Guard. August 28, 2005. pp. 2B. 
  4. ^ "Senate Bill 552 (text):Relating to Superintendent of Public Instruction". Oregon Legislative Assembly. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ Melton, Kimberly (April 6, 2011). "Despite some concerns, Oregon Senate passes bill that makes Oregon's governor the schools superintendent". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ "State Schools Superintendent to also be the Governor". 1110 KBND. June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hammond, Betsy (June 4, 2012). "Oregon Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo to step down". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Jaquiss, Nigel (January 16, 2013). "Wrecking Crew". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  9. ^ Hammond, Betsy (July 12, 2012). "Tigard-Tualatin Superintendent Rob Saxton chosen to lead Oregon public schools". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Superintendents – Past and Present". Oregon Department of Education (official website). ODE. 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2006. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Kincaid, Harrison Rittenhouse (1899). "Superintendents of Public Instruction". Political and Official History and Register of Oregon (State of Oregon): 10.