State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill

Goshen County representative Matt Teeters lost his legislative seat in Tuesday’s primary election. His challenger, Cheri Steinmetz, says she won because Teeters didn’t recognize how important constitutional rights are to his constituents.

“One of the biggest issues for our country is people want to make sure that their constitutional rights are protected. They see a lot of overreach at the federal level, and some at the state level as well.”

Associated Press

A special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill released a scathing report Tuesday concluding she failed to follow legislative funding directives and demanded rank-and-file education department staff to demonstrate personal loyalty to her.

Hill has 15 days to respond before the committee will issue its final report, probably before the end of the month.

U.S. Department of Education via Flickr Creative Commons

High school graduation rates in Wyoming dropped for the fourth year in a row, according to data released Monday by the Wyoming Department of Education. 

About 78 percent of Wyoming high school students graduated on time during the 2012 - 2013 school year, down from more than 80 percent four years ago.

In the same period, Laramie 1 school district in Cheyenne, the largest district in the state, saw its graduation rate fall from near 77 percent to below 72 percent.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill will soon be returning to lead the Wyoming Department of Education.  Unless you’ve been under rock, you know that the Superintendent had her ability to oversee the department removed by the legislature and the governor last year.

Judge Delays Reinstating Superintendent Hill

Mar 18, 2014

A District Court Judge has asked for more information before he issues an order allowing State Superintendent Cindy Hill to resume her duties as head of the Wyoming Department of Education. 

In January, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that a 2013 law that removed the elected superintendent as department head was unconstitutional.   Laramie County District Court  Judge Thomas Campbell ordered attorneys for the state and Hill to file written analyzes over the next three weeks on whether any parts of the law are constitutional.  Senator Hank Coe of Cody says that’s good news. 

Cindy Hill Superintendent

The Wyoming House of Representatives will not debate a bill that was supposed to resolve issues arising from a Supreme Court ruling concerning the duties of Superintendent Cindy Hill.

House Floor Leader Kermit Brown decided to let the bill die, saying it was premature and would take too long to debate. 

"The courts are not done with the process, the audit's not done, there are a lot of things not done.  The bill's premature and it was gonna take a lot of time we didn't have, so I just stopped where I stopped."

The legislature is scheduled to wrap up this week. 

Cindy Hill Superintendent

The Wyoming Senate reconsidered and passed a bill that would set up a special committee to review the recent Supreme Court decision about Superintendent Cindy Hill.

The court ruled that removing Hill's responsibility to run the Department of Education was unconstitutional. The committee would be tasked with coming up with legislation to respond to the ruling, possibly in a special legislative session.  

The Senate at first rejected the bill, but reconsidered after lunch and passed it.  Senator Chris Rothfuss says that some education took place during the lunch break.

The Wyoming Supreme Court has agreed to hear the lawsuit filed by state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill.
 
 Hill is suing the state and Gov. Matt Mead over a new law that took away many of her powers and duties.
 
Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell last month asked the Supreme Court to take up the lawsuit because it raises constitutional questions.
 

It’s been over a week since the Wyoming legislature wrapped up the 2013 session.  It was a session that many lawmakers called unusual, mainly due to the unexpected legislation that removed powers from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.  The other surprise was that the interaction between legislators and the public got heated at times, especially during debate on gun bills.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with a number of legislators about the session and has this report.