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Wisconsin Supreme Court Affirms Power of State Superintendent

By Daarel Burnette II — May 18, 2016 1 min read

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled today that the state legislature and governor can’t meddle in the state superintendent of public instruction’s affairs.

In a 4-3 ruling, the justices decided that the state’s superintendent doesn’t need the governor’s approval to write and enact education policy.

The state’s constitution “requires the legislature to keep the supervision of public instruction in the hands of officers of supervision of public instruction,” Justice Michael Gableman wrote for the majority, according to the Associated Press. “To do otherwise would require a constitutional amendment.”

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s elected superintendent of public instruction, celebrated the ruling, calling it a “victory for public education and the future of our state. More than anything else, this ruling provides much-needed stability for our schools and the students they serve.”

The ruling stems from a 2011 dispute when lawmakers passed a law requiring the state agencies to get their administrative rules signed by the governor.

In several states, legislators have made attempts in recent years to usurp the powers of the state board of education and the state superintendent.


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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.