The full Wyoming Senate has given preliminary approval to a sweeping education reform bill that would drastically reduce the administrative role of state’s top public schools official.
The bill, called Senate File 104, passed by a vote of 19-to-10 after a two-hour hearing yesterday afternoon.
The bill would remove the Wyoming superintendent of public instruction as head of the state Department of Education. It would create a new director of the agency who would be appointed by the governor.
Passing the bill would be a blow for Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill (pictured). It would leave her post essentially a ceremonial position.
Senator Hank Coe (R-Park County) is one of the bill’s sponsors. He says this change needs to happen if the state’s schools are going to be where the legislature and the people of Wyoming want them to be.
Legislative leaders proposed the measure after wrangling with Hill increasingly over the past year over how the state should implement education accountability measures.
Meanwhile, Hill continues to defend her record. The Senate is set to consider the bill again today.