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"Hill bill" fight rages
Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Cheyenne), by Becky Orr

Original Article

Posted By:ramona, 1/31/2013 9:56:44 AM

Within moments of the governor signing a bill Tuesday that drastically reduces her authority, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and two others filed a lawsuit to stop the action. Gov. Matt Mead signed Senate File 104, a bill that strips most of the duties of the state superintendent of public instruction. (snip). Also on Tuesday, Hill and Kerry and Clara Powers of Wheatland filed a lawsuit in Laramie County District Court that challenges the constitutionality of the bill.

Comments:
Would love to hear impressions from our LDotters in Big Beautiful Wyoming. Ramona (the Pest)

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: shamus, 1/31/2013 10:11:12 AM     (No. 9150308)

It´s hard for me to see the wisdom of electing officials to run the education system. The jobs of administering schools really shouldn´t have any political element to it. To the extent that it does, it seems better to let the governor be accountable.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Attila DiMedici, 1/31/2013 10:39:51 AM     (No. 9150381)

I would have liked to see the phrasing in the Wyoming state constitution that is the bases for the law suit. If the State Constitution clearly puts the control of the State Department of Education in the hands of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, then this law is the wrong way to fix the problem, no matter how bad it is.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: RightShoe, 1/31/2013 10:45:36 AM     (No. 9150395)

The comments at the end of the article are more revealing than the article.

Sounds like the governor and the legislature have taken a bit of a desperate approach to problem solving here. It´s too bad they can´t come up with a way to handle this problem better. Taking away power from an elected office is a dangerous thing to do.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 1/31/2013 10:47:48 AM     (No. 9150403)

Although I am officially a Colorado resident, I spend at least 1/2 of every year in Wyoming, and look forward to becoming a Wyoming resident again soon.

As for the Superintendent of Public Instruction problem, my sources tell me Ms. Hill has essentially wrecked the department. She has a reputation as vindictive. She fired many competent employees. Many others were driven off. There are reports that she failed to comply with federal guidelines.

This is a sad situation. There is no ideal way to handle it.


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Reply 5 - Posted by: ramona, 1/31/2013 10:57:31 AM     (No. 9150423)

News reports indicate extreme vitriol towards Mrs. Hill. She and her husband are seen as Tea Party leaders and her attorney husband created enemies within the R party with his attacks on the former Dem governor.

Mrs. Hill´s recent address to the Legislature lays out a Conservative and commonsense view - her goal was to abandon a model of "meeting funding requirements and administering mandates" for "a relentless focus on instruction." *

News reports emphasize her personality and (supposedly) weak intellect. She enraged state workers by closing the satellite office in Laramie and forcing others to leave their desks in Cheyenne to work with children in schools.

Sounds to me like a strong, reform-minded Conservative, not afraid of establishment politicians. But it also sounds like she does not have the greatest administrative skills.

*http://edu.wyoming.gov/sf-docs/reports/cindyhill-speechbook.pdf

RtP

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Chuzzles, 1/31/2013 11:11:55 AM     (No. 9150474)

Well, with posts 4 & 5 we seem to have to sides of the argument. If Mrs. Hill is indeed a Republican, the media would see her fixes as a kind of wrecking of the department. If the media definition of wrecking is expecting employees to go out and work at the schools, instead of sitting at a desk doing makework, well I tend to agree with her. Lets have more of this kind of wrecking. It sounds like what Sarah Palin did in Alaska.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: RockyMtn, 1/31/2013 11:20:00 AM     (No. 9150493)

Number 5 is more accurate than number 4. I am a former teacher in WY and still live there. We have known Cindy Hill for several years. She has an extensive background in teaching and school administration. Hill was elected to put the education of the children first. She was faced with cleaning up and streamlining a bloated, inefficient, entrenched bureaucracy that had been failing in its mission to help provide the best education for the states youth. She was seen as a threat to this "establishment". Her "weakness" is that she can be a polarizing figure. She is not one of the "good old boy and girl politicians".

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Reply 8 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 1/31/2013 12:27:14 PM     (No. 9150653)

I stand by post 4 with one modifier. There are concerns she may not have complied with federal guidelines.

It is important to note that the Governor is a good conservative. Although the actions taken by the State Senate and the Governor are unprecedented, there was no ideal way to handle this difficult, complex situation. This matter cannot be dismissed as just a case of a Tea Party person who rebelled against the GOP establishment.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: ramona, 1/31/2013 12:45:31 PM     (No. 9150685)

I also saw the reports that she may not have complied with Federal guidelines - but none of these reports were conclusive. She was also cleared in a full audit of wrongdoing. If it is true that she deliberately flouted the law, couldn´t the Governor simply have removed her? And why would she be allowed to remain in office with diminished responsibilities? It certainly does sound like a mess.
RtP

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Reply 10 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 1/31/2013 12:58:04 PM     (No. 9150715)

RTP you are right it is a mess. It is also important to realize that although Wyoming is a conservative state, the media in cowboy land is liberal. Therefore, press coverage of this matter will attempt to embarrass the GOP at the expense of the whole truth.

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