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Bill removing authority from the state superintendent is an 'abuse of power'

Jan 15, 2013 - Cindy Hill State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Editor:

As many of your readers know, State Sen. Hank Coe of Cody and State Rep. Matt Teeters of Lingle have introduced Senate File 104. This bill would remove the powers from the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and transfer them to a director appointed by Gov. Mead.

This is nothing more than a seizure of power, consolidating power in the hands of a few, and taking away the vote of the people of Wyoming.

The handful of legislators spearheading these efforts have put this legislation on the fast track in hopes that this measure can be passed before the people of Wyoming know what has happened.

I have always been willing to work with every legislator and other members of the executive branch in the pursuit of educational excellence in Wyoming. My commitment in this regard remains.

Even in this environment, my team and the Department of Education have pressed on to help educators and parents grow Wyoming students. The results show it: for the second year in a row, our state assessment (PAWS) shows progress, statewide, in all categories.

We're proud to show the fine work being done at your Wyoming Department of Education. I invite everyone to get the facts first at www.edu.wyoming.gov, stop by for a visit, or, as always, you can call me at 307-286-0479.

Based on the language of the bill, this is nothing short of an assault on the Wyoming Constitution and a coup on an elected office. The bill calls for Gov. Mead to appoint an interim Director of Education immediately upon the signing of the bill. All duties and powers of the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction would be seized and transferred within minutes following Governor Mead's signature.

I stand for the interests of the children of Wyoming above all else. I refuse to give into the will of a few legislators disappointed in the outcome of the last election. Their intent is to consolidate power in Cheyenne -- in the hands of a few -- and to end local control of our schools.

I ask that every citizen of Wyoming who believes in the electoral system, who fears the consolidation of power in the hands of the Governor and a few legislators, take a stand against SF 104. Please call and e-mail each of the legislators. Let them know that abuses of power will not stand in Wyoming.

If you choose to stand up and join us, I will be personally very grateful.

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