CHEYENNE– Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Cindy Hill testified before the Senate Education Committee today regarding a bill, which would make the State Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed position.
After her testimony, Senate File 0104 was reviewed by the Senate Education Committee and referred to General File in the Senate. Senate File 104 - would establish an appointed bureaucrat who would assume most of the duties currently performed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Superintendent Hill offered testimony today (attached with the email) to the Senate Education committee, highlighting what she sees as the differences of those who are appointed versus those elected, saying her concern is the concentration of power which would be transferred from the people to the Governor.
Superintendent Hill is also concerned about the impact this legislation would have on the people of Wyoming’s input in education.
"This appears to be a power grab, which takes power away from the people of Wyoming and gives it to the Governor," said Hill. "If a change needs to be made it should be made by the people of Wyoming in the form of an amendment to the Wyoming State Constitution."
In her testimony, she added that she believes there is a difference between an elected official and a bureaucrat overseen by a supervisor.
"Elected officials must listen and be responsive," she told the committee. "Each state-wide elected official is responsible to all of the people of the state – not a few, not just the select. It is why my phone number is published and why I return every call as soon as possible. A bureaucrat responds only to his or her immediate supervisor."
The bill would call for the Governor to appoint an interim Director of Education immediately at the signing of the bill and appoint a permanent Director of the Wyoming Department of Education no later than Dec. 1, 2013.
The interim director would have one month to prepare a status report on the transfer of power from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Director of the Wyoming Department of Education to the Governor, Joint Education Interim Committee, the Joint Appropriations Interim Committee and the Select Committee on Statewide Educational Accountability. The report would include the interim director’s opinions and recommendations on further legislation needed to transfer from the State Superintendent to the State Director position.
The bill would provide $500,000 from the school foundation program to the office of the interim director of education to be used for what is termed, "necessary professional consultation expertise."
For more information contact: Jerry Zellars Public Information Officer Wyoming Department of Education 307-777-6386