State Superintendent

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.

Bill Winney

A former US Navy Submarine commander is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Republican Bill Winney says training and education were big parts of his job in the Navy, and that the Wyoming Department of Education is in need of the type of leadership he would bring to the job.

Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is rejecting an offer from the state attorney general to narrow the scope of a court case that has to be resolved before she can return to running the state education department.
 
Hill said Tuesday the state constitution is not negotiable.
 
Hill filed suit challenging a state law enacted last year that removed her as head of the state education department. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled in January the law is unconstitutional.
 

It’s been a long year for State Superintendent Cindy Hill.  After legislators determined that she was undermining some of their education reform efforts, they voted to take away her ability to run the state department of education and assigned her to less essential tasks. 

Later a report suggested mistreatment of employees, possible misuse of the state aircraft, and misuse of Department of Education money.  That last piece is being investigated by a legislative committee who is trying to determine if impeachment charges should be brought against Hill. 

The Wyoming House of Representatives defeated a pair of amendments during the second day of debate on a bill that would remove some duties from the State Superintendent and give them to a governor-appointed Director of Education.  

Jackson Republican Keith Gingery asked for $20,000 to be set aside to allow State Superintendent Cindy Hill to fight her loss of power in court.  During that discussion Gingery expressed disappointment about the tone of the debate on the issue.

The Wyoming Senate has given final approval to a bill that takes power away from the state superintendent and creates an appointed director to run the Department of Education. 

The Senate voted 20-10 to approve the measure.  Senator Hank Coe blames the move on failures by the State Superintendent Cindy Hill to follow through on legislative mandates, a charge Hill denies.  Coe says Hill has lacked management skills.  He says that’s led to a 40-percent turnover.

Cindy Hill Superintendent

State Superintendent Cindy Hill Interview

The State Department of Education says school districts developing anti-bullying plans will do a lot to improve not only behavior, but education in the state.  Wyoming’s most recent youth risk behavior survey found that a quarter of high school students and better than 50 percent of middle school students in the state experienced bullying.  Superintendent of Schools Cindy Hill said bullying is unacceptable.  She said they have found that schools with no tolerance for bullying actually are higher performing schools and Hill says that is not surprising.

Wyoming Superintendent Cindy Hill asked the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees to reconsider raising its admission standards so as not to exclude Wyoming high school students who struggle with their test scores.

Under the new guidelines, in order to be assured admission admitted, students would need three-point-oh G-P-As and an A-C-T score of 21. They would also have to take additional foreign language classes in high school. Students who don’t meet certain standards would be admitted, on condition of participating in a ‘Synergy Program’ to bring them up to speed.