Balow Opposes Appointment Proposal
State Superintendent Of Public Instruction Jillian Balow is speaking out against a proposal to eventually make her office an appointed one rather than an elected position, as it currently is.
If approved by lawmakers in the upcoming session, the proposal would put a constitutional amendment before the voters to make the Superintendent an appointed position starting in 2019.
Balow notes it would take effect after her current term expires, and says her opposition is based on being a parent, teacher and resident of the state rather than any vested interest in the outcome.
But she says education is ''deeply personal" to the residents of Wyoming. She says for such a personal issue it's important voters have a direct voice in who runs state schools.
Supporters of making the office appointed argue doing so would remove political considerations from decisions on education. Some supporters also argue that running the education department has become increasingly technical and requires someone with a background that prepares them for the technical challenges.
Wyoming lawmakers in 2013 passed Senate File 104, which removed then-Superintendent Cindy Hill from supervision of the state Department of Education, replacing her with a person appointed by Governor Matt Mead.
The Wyoming Supreme Court on a 3-2 vote later overturned the legislation as unconstitutional.