State education officials involved in the search for a successor to the late Kent King as Missouri State Education Commissioner remain optimistic a candidate will be selected by the July 1st target date – despite a slower-than-anticipated process.
State Board of Education President Russell Thompson concedes meeting the July 1st target date will be a difficult task, but one that can be accomplished.
“Originally we had established July 1 as a date and that’s still a target date, for us, to try to accomplish this by July 1,” Thompson said. “I have to be honest with you. It looks like, to me, because of the length of time that it’s taken the search committee that it may complicate things as far as reaching that deadline.”
What is key for Thompson is for a new Commissioner to be in place by the start of the new school year.
“My personal opinion is it’s important because the education community is geared to the beginning of a school year,” said Thompson. “And I think that you don’t want someone who’s new to the position to be brought in when the school year is already in process.”
As for the selection process, Thompson refuses to say many candidates are in the running for the position.