Senator Melson’s Bill Levels Playing Field Between County and City Superintendents

By Tim Melson

MONTGOMERY, Ala.The Alabama Senate committee on Education and Youth Affairs has approved Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence), which would allow county superintendents of education the option to have additional employment outside of their duties as superintendent, an opportunity that city superintendents already possess.  Melson’s proposal also removes limits on annual travel expenses for county superintendents

Under existing law, county education superintendents are not allowed to have additional employment of any kind. They are also limited to $600 in travel expenses annually. City superintendents have never been subjected to either of these restrictions.

“We are simply giving our county education superintendents the same privileges that our city superintendents have,” Melson said. “This bill represents equality and fairness for our rural school districts.”

Senator Melson’s bill would represent a much-need modernization of the code: the law preventing county superintendents from having additional employment is over 90 years old.  

Senate Bill 153 does not take away any power from county boards of education when they are negotiating contracts with superintendents, but simply removes the penalty for acquiring additional employment.  

In other words, if the county board of education and the applying superintendent agree on a contract that says that the superintendent can’t have additional employment, then the superintendent cannot disregard the agreed-upon contract and seek additional employment.

Melson’s bill has been given favorable report in committee and is awaiting consideration by the entire Senate.  

Tim Melson represents District Six in the Alabama Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Madison, Limestone, and Lauderdale counties. He is a retired anesthesiologist and deeply involved in community service. You can reach his Senate office at (334) 242-7085.