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Mississippi Senate rejects Dr. Robert Taylor as superintendent of education

Dr. Robert Taylor
Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Instruction

The Mississippi Senate has rejected the confirmation of Dr. Robert Taylor as state superintendent of public education with a 31-21 vote.

Taylor was previously selected as the state’s new superintendent by the State Board of Education in November 2022 and assumed the position in January.

Senators opposed to Taylor’s confirmation expressed concerns with the fact that he has spent most of his public service outside of the Magnolia State, raising questions about his familiarity with Mississippi’s education system.

Proponents of the appointed superintendent’s confirmation argue that he checks all of the necessary boxes to adequately lead Mississippi’s public education to a brighter future.

Taylor, a Southern Miss alum and 30-year veteran educator, began his career as a teacher’s assistant in Mississippi and served North Carolina public schools throughout his career as a teacher, principal, district superintendent, and state education leader. He most recently operated as deputy state superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Now that Taylor has been denied by the Senate, the State Board of Education will hold a special meeting in the near future to select an interim superintendent before it conducts a new search for a full-time candidate to fill the vacant position.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to not confirm Dr. Taylor:

“The Board sent over an appointment but there were legitimate concerns about whether he was the right person for the job. With a position as important as the person overseeing the education of our children, Senators should vote their conscience and confirmation should not be taken lightly. I defer to the body and believe they made the right decision today.”

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