Some Republicans in the Minnesota House want the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul to take over the administration of public schools in their cities.
The House Education Reform Committee will consider a bill this week that directs mayors in each city to appoint their own seven-member board of education. They would also hire a chief executive officer, who doesn't have to be a licensed superintendent.
The new leadership teams would be required to improve the classroom performance of all student groups. Republican Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing said leaders from outside of the education system would offer a new perspective.
"These are major organizations. These are people running -- I mean we can liken it to running major corporations. This is a big task, and I think school boards tend to be at a little disadvantage, just from an experience standpoint," he said.
DFL Representative Carlos Mariani of St. Paul said replacing a locally-elected school board with a non-elected board is not the way to turn around struggling schools. Mariani said he finds the bill "disturbing."
"You would have un-elected, and many ways indirectly -- at best -- accountable people making decisions about the well being of kids in that school, as well as making some pretty important tax decisions," he said.
The House Education Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on Thursday.