According to recent reports, State Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley, has been waiting for a nod from Governor Rick Perry since January for a reappointment that has not come. Reportedly, the Governor has made hundreds of other appointments leading some to question whether or not Neeley will be replaced.
Gubernatorial appointments require Senate confirmation and now that the legislative session has concluded the Senate will not be able to confirm any appointments for two years and this doesn’t set well with Dr. Darrell Floyd, Stephenville schools superintendent.
Floyd has been watching the situation with interest.
“I think the fact that the Governor has not already reappointed Shirley Neeley as Commissioner of Education probably does not bode well for her,” Floyd said. “I don’t agree at all with the Governor bypassing the senate confirmation process on this appointment.”
Floyd said he doesn’t like the idea of anyone serving two years without going through the Senate confirmation process.
In a recent Dallas Morning News article, three school superintendent names surfaced as possible replacements for Neeley.
Floyd said he knows all three and feels any one of the three would be a good choice in the high profile position. But, he also said if Neeley remains in the position it would “lend consistency to the Texas Education Agency.”
One name is Dallas Independent School District Superintendent, Michael Hinojosa, “a high quality Hispanic educator” in Floyd’s opinion.
“Having him (Hinojosa) lead the Texas Education Agency, in a state where the Hispanic community continues to grow, might be good,” Floyd said.
John Folks is another name that has come up. He is the superintendent of Northside Independent School District in San Antonio and has held the position of state superintendent of education for Oklahoma.
“He (Folks) has a calm, quiet demeanor about him,” Floyd said. “His responses and decisions seem to always be well thought out.”
Another name being tossed about is that of David Anthony, current superintendent of Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District and formerly superintendent of the McKinney Independent School District.
Floyd said that Anthony is “more boisterous and opinionated than the other two, but is very sharp.”
“If Shirley Neeley is not reappointed by the governor, I think any of the three mentioned would be good choices as her successor,” Floyd said.
Floyd said he was acquainted with each of the three superintendents because he had served on various statewide committees with each of them including the UIL Legislative council and the Texas Association of School Administrators.
He said he felt each individual possessed a unique set of skills and abilities that would benefit the position.
Second in command at the Texas Education Agency is Deputy Commissioner; Robert Scott who Floyd said would not be a good choice for the position.
The next Commissioner of Education needs to have experience as a Texas school superintendent,” Floyd said.