Consultants Say Wyomingites Want Appointed Schools Chief

Sep 11, 2014

Most Wyomingites would like to see the State Superintendent of Public Instruction become an appointed position, rather than an elected one. That’s according to a consulting group hired by lawmakers to conduct a statewide survey on education governance.

The Maryland-based consulting group, Cross & Joftus conducted in-depth interviews with education stakeholders and launched an online survey for public input. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents and 75 percent of interviewees believed a shift to an appointed schools chief would be a good move.

Cross & Joftus Chairman Christopher Cross says there’s a split on who should do the appointing.

“Most of the people who were interviewed—and those are primarily stakeholders, the associations that represent educators, business and various segments of the education enterprise in Wyoming—favored it happening by the Governor. The majority of people from the survey looked to having that done by the State Board of Education.”

Cross says a majority of those surveyed and interviewed also favor the schools chief’s performance being evaluated every year—rather than every four years, through the election process.

Last week, the State Board of Education voiced support for making the move to an appointed State Superintendent, but the group was also split on who should appoint.