Mead Signs Superintendent Bill, Hill Sues
by K2 News Desk, email@example.com
Governor Mead has signed the bill that strips most of the power away from the elected superintendent of public instruction.
Senate File 104 turns the running of the education department over to a director that will be appointed by the governor.
The legislation had been dubbed by some as the "Hill Bill", since it effectively ends two years of squabbling between current Superintendent Cindy Hill and many key members of the legislature.
Governor Mead had not spoken publicly about the bill before Tuesday, other than to say that all of the arguing needed to stop in order for the state to move ahead on education reforms.
Before signing the bill, Mead said it was not a decision he took lightly. "It was a very tough decision for me," said Mead at a press conference. "I put a lot of soul-searching and a lot of thought into it. I don't think anybody is viewing this as a celebration. I think we view it as a duty we must go forward on for the kids in Wyoming."
Superintendent Hill quickly responded to the signing of the bill by filing a lawsuit. Hill says the new legislation is unconstitutional, and stated the the governor has let down the state of Wyoming.
In the meantime, Jim Rose has been named interim director of the Wyoming Department of Education. Rose is currently the Executive Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.
In the coming months, the Board of Education will nominate three candidates for the director position. Governor Mead must select one of those three candidates by December of 2013.