Jan 16, 2013 - Robin Berry, CodyEditor:
State Sen. Hank Coe has deceived voters. In a public forum at the Cody Club Chamber lunch on Dec. 17, he stood before us and said that he would not be introducing a bill that in any way would remove the job of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, currently held by Cindy Hill.
In a way, that "could" be true, but what the senator did was to introduce Senate File 104 that virtually strips from the people's choice of State Superintendent of Education all authority from her job. This bill has already passed on reading. Call your legislators now.
In this bill, which can be read in its entirety online at legisweb.state.wy.us, a new position called "Director," appointed by the governor - not the people -- will assume the authority and responsibility of what was the job of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Many news sources are unwilling or unable to report that the required audit of the state superintendent was over 98 percent accurate, or report that the testing results of our children have risen more rapidly and impressively since our Superintendent Hill has been elected by the people to office. Testing results can be found online by searching for 2012 PAWS Results --Wyoming Department of Education. Look it up.
Why, then, does this senator harbor so much distain for our elected superintendent? The only reason I can logically come to is that this state superintendent does not play by the "Good ol' Boys" rules.
Superintendent Hill dared to question why building contracts were not put out according to the state statue for bid; she dared to question why we were submitting to federal regulations that did not fit Wyoming; she dared to stand up and question why state moneys were spent on federal programs that we did not need; she dared to go out into the districts and ask the teachers what help they needed to help our children excel in learning; she dared to, at no cost to the state, hold Saturday training sessions (that were overwhelmingly attended) for teachers who wanted to learn new proven methods to help our children learn better.
What was her crime? She cared more for our children's education than bowing to the whims of an "out of control" seniority-driven administrative nightmare whose only goal was to continue using their clout and money power.
Senate File 104 is in direct violation of the State Statute 21-2-304 (a) i: "Nothing in this section shall give the state board rulemaking authority in any area specifically delegated to the state superintendent..."
Sounds like a power grab by the chairman of the board of education to me. It is situations like this that should make all Wyomingites angry enough to stand up and say "enough." In life you often must work with people with whom you disagree or do not like. But being in a country where the rule of law is the governing method, you act in an adult manner by sticking to the rules and not making personal vendettas out of your job responsibilities.
We are a republic in which the "rule of law" prevails; not the whims of a "flavor of the day."
Call your legislators now on SF104.
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