Guest Commentary: SF104: ‘Education Czar’ is unconstitutional
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 6th, 2013
Most Wyomingites are appalled by the blatant disregard of the U.S. Constitution by our elected servants in Washington, D.C.
Our Wyoming state legislature is no better. SF 0104: Education, State Administration, is a prime example. SF 104 strips the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Cindy Hill), who was elected by “We, the people” of most of her powers and replaces her with a director of the Department of Education. The “Education Czar” will be appointed by the Governor from a list of three names submitted by the State Board of Education, the same Board of Education that is also appointed by the Governor. So much for checks and balances.
We knew that Cindy Hill was going to ruffle some feathers. That’s why we elected her. As far as I can tell, she’s done a good job. Student test scores are up, spending is down and teachers are being held accountable.
But SF104 isn’t about Cindy Hill. It’s about an out-of-control state legislature overthrowing the will of the people of Wyoming. It’s about a top-down approach to education, which Cindy Hill was against. That was the real sin that she committed.
If Cindy Hill needs to be removed from office, the people of Wyoming can do it in the next election. If it can’t wait until the next election, she can be impeached in the state House and tried in the state Senate, and if our state legislature fails to do so, they are derelict in their duties. If and Education Czar is necessary, an amendment to the Wyoming Constitution would be in order. Yes, impeachment or amendments to the Wyoming Constitution are not easy, but it is what is required by the Wyoming Constitution, which every one of them swore an oath to God to “support, obey and defend.” The U.S. and Wyoming constitutions are not easy to change. That’s a good thing. No matter how they spin it, SF104 is clearly in violation of the Wyoming Constitution.
SF104 is perhaps the greatest usurpation of power in the history of Wyoming. It is nothing short of Chicago-style thug politics. I had a Rep. Jim Byrd tell me in an email that he is tired of being chastised for acting “in the public interest.” My response to him was that tyrants throughout all of history believed that they were “acting in the public interest” as they usurped power.
Again, SF104 isn’t about Cindy Hill, and don’t let those who voted for this bill make it about her. Senator Jim Anderson was a co-sponsor of SF104 and Representative Richard Cannady voted for it. Big government establishment politicians rely heavily on the ignorance and apathy of their constituents. They believe that the people are too stupid to know what’s good for them. They need to be remembered in the next election.
I would like to thank Representative Dan Kirkbride of Platte County who respected the voters’ wishes by voting against it.