The Senate Education Committee has rejected Gov. Tate Reeves’ nomination of DeSoto County resident Carra Powell to the Mississippi Board of Education.
Late Sunday, the Education Committee tabled the nomination. The Education Committee is expected to meet again before the session ends — presumably later this week — to take up the nomination of Robert Taylor for state superintendent of education.
At that meeting, an effort could be made to revive Powell’s nomination. On Sunday, Sen. Sollie Norwood, D-Jackson, made the motion to table the nomination. It was overwhelmingly approved on a voice vote. No one asked Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar, R-Leakesville, for a roll call after the voice vote.
It is not unusual for such action to occur on a voice vote. But members have the option to ask for a show of hands or even a roll call if they believe the ruling of the chair is inaccurate.
No one asked for additional clarification of the vote.
Powell’s nomination was considered controversial. A resident of DeSoto County, near the Tennessee line, she is a registered lobbyist for a charter school association in Tennessee.
Before the vote, Reeves posted on social media, of Powell, “She is a strong conservative, active in her kids’ public schools, and a tremendous advocate for education freedom. Many left wing groups trying to stop her. Can’t imagine why! Do not let them win!”
Reeves had not yet posted on social media anything about the Education Committee’s decision. The Education Committee consists of 10 Republicans and five Democrats.
In Reeves’ first legislative session as governor, his nomination of former state Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, to the state Board of Education also was rejected. She, like Powell, was opposed by many public education groups who voiced concern with her pro educational choice advocacy positions.
The nine-member Board of Education consists of four appointees of the governor and two each from the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House.