MT 2011 Legislature

Feb 1, 2011 6:05 PM by Marnee Banks (Helena)

Bill strikes college degree requirement for Montana Superintendent

MT State Representative James Knox (R-Billings) is carrying a bill which would allow someone without a college degree to run for State Superintendent of Public Schools.

The bill passed a second reading in the House, receiving bipartisan support in a 60 to 40 vote.

Currently, Montana law states that the Superintendent must hold at least a bachelors degree to hold the office.

Knox's bill simply strikes that language, only requiring someone be 25 years of age and a resident for two years.

"There is no requirement on any other higher office, say, Governor. So if the Governor does not require a college degree and he is in fact responsible for this position and many other department head positions, why should we put this requirement on any one below him?" Knox asked on the House floor.

Opponents of the bill say the person who is the head of public education should be required to have a college degree in order to lead by example.