Governor John Kitzhaber is expected to sign 14 new education bills passed by Oregon lawmakers Tuesday. Some of the highlights include all day kindergarten by the year 2015; flexibility for parents to transfer to another district, and eliminating the State Schools Superintendent position. We spoke to Superintendent Susan Castillo earlier about this idea. " The Governor would take over the role of Superintendent and he would have a Deputy Superintendent. I have continued to maintain that we need an elected State School Superintendent. The Governor and I don't agree with that particular part of his proposal, and we've had conversations about it. But he knows I'm very much on board with the rest of the work he's proposing.” Castillo will finish out her term which ends in about 3 years, and she'll help Kitzhaber with the transition to a Deputy Schools Superintendent as well as other reform measures.
State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver says he voted for the bill, but has some reservations about changing the Superintendent of Schools from an elected to an appointed position: “I did speak on the floor and stated I’m disappointed that we didn't refer this to the voters. We had plenty of time to do that, to find out if they want to give up or continue to elect the Superintendent.” This change will not take effect until after current Superintendent of Schools Susan Castillo's term is up. She will serve three more years.