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District 25 chief says voters deserve voice in state ed

Jan 17, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

If Senate File 104 passes through the Wyoming Legislature this year, Riverton schools superintendent Terry Snyder said he hopes other changes follow as well.

The bill would remove powers from the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and transfer those powers to a director, who would be appointed by Gov. Matt Mead.

"In my opinion, if they choose to have an appointed superintendent of schools, they then need to have an elected state board of education," Snyder said Tuesday. "I believe the voice of the people needs to be included."

Modifying the superintendent's position without making the board of education an elected body could lead to a lack of representation and cause concern over time, Snyder said.

"When you look at the possibility of certain beliefs, if the only appointments come from the governor and legislators, that can become problematic within the school systems," he said. "It very well might not, yet there's that potential. That's why I say there needs to be a component in that Wyoming Department of Education, within that design of education in the state, that has a direct representative of the people."

No matter what they decide, he hopes legislators are considering "the big picture" and not simply thinking about the current superintendent of public instruction.

"When you make a decision like that (it can't be) based on an individual's performance, or frustration or disagreement with an individual," he said.