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Education Committee Releases Final Governance Report

After months of discussion about how Wyoming’s K-12 education system should be run, the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee released its final report on statewide education governance Wednesday.

The report offers suggestions for how Wyoming might change the structure education leadership in the state in the wake of Senate File 104, a failed legislative attempt to strip powers from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.

The report was produced by a consulting firm with input from educators and the general public. The education committee will consider the report at its December 10th meeting in Jackson. Representative John Patton says the committee is likely to tweak the report’s recommendations before crafting an education governance bill for the full Legislature to consider.

“On the other hand, they may accept it just the way it is,” says Patton. “The bill that will be completed there will only be offered for consideration to the Legislature when it convenes in January 2015.”

The report suggests some alternatives to a voter-elected State Superintendent—including systems where the schools chief is appointed by the State Board of Education or the Governor.

Any changes of this sort would require voters to pass a constitutional amendment. Patton says his committee will keep the public in the loop.

“We will do everything we can to make sure that the public has an open discussion of what we are considering and what our recommendation is,” says Patton. “We’re not going to do this in the closet and try to run it through like a freight train.”

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