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Lt. gov. breaks tie on superintendent bill

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann stepped in to break a tie Wednesday on a bill allowing schools to hire superintendents without an educator’s license.The vote was 25-25 until she gave Senate Bill 1357 the final push with a 26th yes vote.

It is the first time Ellspermann has had to break a tie. Staffers were researching the last time it happened.

Originally the bill did not require superintendents to have teaching or superintendents’ licenses, nor was any postsecondary education required. An amendment inserted Tuesday requires a master’s degree in any field.

“Just because you don’t have experience in education doesn’t mean you can’t lead a district,” said Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon.

Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, said the bill wouldn’t have passed out of committee except that she was out of the room. She would have voted no, killing the bill.

“What we are doing here is disconcerting," Leising said, noting classes that superintendents have to take such as school law, testing and special education.