SF0104 and HB0159

 SF0104 History and Update

May 14, 2013 – Governor Matt Mead signed Senate File 104 on January 29, 2013, and appointed a long-time educator, Dr. James O. Rose, as the Interim Director of the Wyoming Department of Education.  Dr. Rose’s Ph.D. is in Education from the University of Wyoming. He is currently the Executive Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.

The process of selecting a permanent director requires the Wyoming State Board of Education to provide three names to the Governor. The Governor selects from those names and appoints a director by December 1, 2013. That appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Senate File 104 did not eliminate the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  This bill designates what the specific duties are now of the State Superintendent.  Those duties retained are:

  • general supervision of the state’s public schools
  • adopt rules and regulations necessary for the proper & effective general supervision of the public schools, and annual reporting to the Legislature on their general status
  • administer the Teacher of the Year program
  • establish rules and regulations regarding seclusion & restraint
  • assist districts with protocol regarding concussions/head injuries
  • establish guidelines regarding storage and disposal of toxic chemicals/other hazardous substances
  • provide professional development for schools and teachers, including up to 5 regional workshops a year.

 

Hill and two of her supporters sued Governor Matt Mead in January, claiming the law, which created an appointed education director to oversee the Department of Education, violated the state constitution. Hill also asked a judge to stop the implementation of SF104 until the matter could be decided by the courts.

A state judge declined to put a temporary halt to the provisions of the new law.  First Judicial District Judge Thomas Campbell said that Hill failed to demonstrate how keeping the law in place while the courts rule on its constitutionality would cause irreparable harm.

The district judge sent the remainder of the case directly to the Wyoming Supreme Court, where it has yet to be heard.

To follow the progress of the court case, go to this State Supreme Court Case link:

https://efiling.courts.state.wy.us/public/caseView.do?csIID=16180

SF0104 Dominates Legislative Session

Governor Matt Mead signed Senate File 104 on January 29th, 2013, and appointed a long-time educator, Dr. James O. Rose, as the Interim Director of the Wyoming Department of Education.  “This was not an easy decision,” Governor Mead said. “We spend more than almost any other state on our students. I am proud of that. I am proud of our great teachers, amazing school facilities and our professional administrators. But, as we ask them to do more we must be accountable at the state level too. This bill addressed a structural problem in a system that existed for many years. As education has become more complicated we have been mired down. This change allows us to focus on educational excellence for our children.”

Dr. Rose’s Ph.D. is in Education from the University of Wyoming. He is currently the Executive Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.

The process of selecting a permanent director requires the Wyoming State Board of Education to provide three names to the Governor. The Governor selects from those names and appoints a director by December 1, 2013. That appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

This bill does not eliminate the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  This bill designates what the specific duties are now of the State Superintendent.  Those duties retained are:

  • general supervision of the state’s public schools
  • adopt rules and regulations necessary for the proper & effective general supervision of the public schools, and annual reporting to the Legislature on their general status
  • administer the Teacher of the Year program
  • establish rules and regulations regarding seclusion & restraint
  • assist districts with protocol regarding concussions/head injuries
  • establish guidelines regarding storage and disposal of toxic chemicals/other hazardous substances
  • provide professional development for schools and teachers, including up to 5 regional workshops a year.
The Wyoming Education Association monitored SF0104, but did not taking a formal position because of many reasons. We investigated the ramifications and monitored the status.  The WEA was aware of the ongoing conflicts between the state superintendent and legislators.  Our interest is in promoting constructive, workable policies that promote quality education and student success. It does not appear at this point that there is anything productive to be accomplished by the WEA piling on the political conflicts between branches of government. The WEA’s role will continue to be in regard to providing input to try to help shape practical, viable education policies and practices.  In the short term, the elected officials on both sides of this controversy will be here for a while, and there is no “solution” that will instantly fix the problem.  What we need right now is for everyone to try to work through the conflicts and do the best we can to move education forward in Wyoming.

 

Governor Signs SF0104 -

January 29, 2013 - Governor Matt Mead signed Senate File 104 today and appointed a long-time educator as the Interim Director of the Wyoming Department of Education.

“This was not an easy decision,” Governor Mead said. “We spend more than almost any other state on our students. I am proud of that. I am proud of our great teachers, amazing school facilities and our professional administrators. But, as we ask them to do more we must be accountable at the state level too. This bill addressed a structural problem in a system that existed for many years. As education has become more complicated we have been mired down. This change allows us to focus on educational excellence for our children.” 

Governor Mead has selected Dr. James O. Rose to be the Interim Director of the Wyoming Department of Education. Dr. Rose’s Ph.D. is in Education from the University of Wyoming. He is currently the Executive Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission. The process of selecting a permanent director requires the Wyoming State Board of Education to provide three names to the Governor. The Governor selects from those names and appoints a director by December 1, 2013. That appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Read Governor Mead’s Entire News Release Regarding SF0104

SF0104 Passes Third Reading -

January 25, 2013 - SF0104 (Education- state administration) passed third reading, after about an hour of debate. It will now go back to the Senate for concurrence on the House amendments.  If the Senate concurs on all amendments, it will then be sent to Governor Mead for his consideration.

Listen to the House floor debates -

 

SF0104 Passes Second Reading in House -  

January 24, 2013 -SF0104 (Education- state administration) passed second reading after short debate. It next goes to third reading tomorrow.

Listen to the House floor debates -

House Committee of the Whole Passes SF0104 -

January 23, 2013 - After being debated for nearly two hours during Committee of the Whole, SF0104 (Education- state administration) passed the House with 38 affirmative votes. It next goes to second reading in the House and will likely be heard tomorrow.  

House Appropriations Passes SF0104 after testimony -

January 22, 2013 SF0104 (Education- state administration) was heard in the House Appropriations Committee tonight. After nearly two hours of testimony it was passed 7-0. Testifying in support of the legislation were organizations such as the Wyoming Business Alliance. Among those testifying in opposition was Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.

It now goes to the floor of the House and is expected to be heard in Committee of the Whole tomorrow.

SF0104 Waits for Committee Assignment - 

January 17, 2013 – Listen to SF0104 Senate Floor debates here - 

  1. SF0104 Committee of the Whole Senate debate at 1:32:30
  2. SF0104 Second reading Senate debate at 0:20:00  
  3. SF0104 Third reading Senate debate at 1:10:00

SF0104 Passes Through Senate 20-10

January 16, 2013 – The Senate passed SF0104 (Education-state administration) on its third reading today by a vote of 20-10. It next will be introduced in the House and given a committee assignment.  This will likely occur tomorrow.

Listen at 1:10:00 for the beginning of the third reading Senate debate.
The Wyoming Education Association (WEA) continues to monitor this bill, but is not taking a formal position. We will continue to investigate the ramifications and monitor the status.  TheWEA is aware of the ongoing conflicts between the state superintendent and legislators.  We are monitoring the situation.  Our interest is in promoting constructive, workable policies that promote quality education and student success.

SF0104 on Fast Track

January 15, 2013SF0104 (Education-state administration) had its second reading and passed with three amendments. It will have its third reading tomorrow.  For a complete summary, including added amendments, view our comprehensive bill tracking chart.
The Wyoming Education Association (WEA) continues to monitor this bill, but is not taking a formal position. We will continue to investigate the ramifications and monitor the status.  The WEA is aware of the ongoing conflicts between the state superintendent and legislators.  We are monitoring the situation.  Our interest is in promoting constructive, workable policies that promote quality education and student success. It does not appear at this point that there is anything productive to be accomplished by the WEA piling on the political conflicts between branches of government. The WEA’s input will continue to be in regard to providing input to try to help shape practical, viable education policies and practices.  In the short term, the elected officials on both sides of this controversy will be here for a while and there is no “solution” that will instantly fix the problem.  What we need right now is for everyone to try to work through the conflicts and do the best we can to move education forward in Wyoming. 

SF0104 Dominates Debate upon First Reading -

January 14, 2013 SF0104 (Education-state administration) Passed in the Senate Joint Appropriations Committee 4-1.  It was then sent for first reading of the Senate Committee of the Whole, where it passed with 19 in favor.  It will have its second reading tomorrow.

This proposed bill will create a new position of Director (CEO and Administration Head) of the Department of Education.  The bill is designed to transfer to the Director the majority of duties and obligations currently assigned to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, including operation of Wyoming Department of Education.  For a complete summary, view our comprehensive bill tracking chart.

Major Changes to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Position in Proposed Bill -

January 11, 2013SF0104 was discussed in the Senate Education Committee today to a large audience in Room 1699 of the Herschler Building, where it passed unanimously (5-0). SF0104 was then sent to the Appropriations Committee.  The proposed bill will create a new position of Director (CEO & Administration Head) of the Department of Education.  The bill is designed to transfer to the Director the majority of duties & obligations currently assigned to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, including operation of Wyoming Department of Education.  For a complete summary, view our comprehensive bill tracking chart.

Senator Hank Coe’s opening remarks on SF104

Superintendent Hill’s Response to SF104

 

WEA Testifies and Defeats HB0159 in the House Education Committee - 

January 18, 2013 -  HB0159 (Teacher employment hearings) was defeated in the House Education Committee today on a 5-3 vote. WEA testified extensively, stating that eliminating independent hearing officers is not a good idea because:

  1. It causes a violation of due process, making termination decisions invalid;
  2. It does not save any time or money but instead eliminates a valuable tool that streamlines and facilitates the process;
  3. It eliminates benefits for the boards, such as a board member’s option to choose whether to attend days of hearing testimony or to just read the transcript and the hearing officer’s findings at a time convenient for the board member.
  4. Ultimately it will make the termination process less certain, make hearings more complicated and controversial, and create entirely unnecessary litigation over due process procedures.

We want to thank those Representatives who voted against the bill:

Cathy Connolly
John Freeman
Hans Hunt
Garry Piiparinen
Albert Sommers

HB0159 Teacher Hearings Bill will be discussed in the House Education Committee tomorrow -

January 17, 2013 -  HB0159 (Teacher employment hearings) is scheduled to be discussed in the House Education Committee tomorrow.  The Wyoming Education Association opposes this bill and will work with legislators to either fix the legislation or prevent its advancement.  This bill significantly changes the process for a contested termination hearing. Instead of an independent hearing officer presiding over the case, the school board would serve as jury. The current system has only been in place this year and appears to accomplish the goals of last year’s legislative action.

HB0159 Teacher Hearings Bill is a Move Backward

January 15, 2013 –  HB0159 (Teacher employment hearings) significantly changes the process for a contested termination hearing. Instead of an independent hearing officer presiding over the case, the school board would serve as jury. The current system has only been in place this year and appears to accomplish the goals of last year’s legislative action. The Wyoming Education Association opposes this bill and will work with legislators to either fix the legislation, or prevent its advancement.