A state lawmaker wants to change the Wisconsin Constitution to allow the governor to pick the state schools superintendent. Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) said the constitutional amendment would let the governor appoint the superintendent, and give legislators the power to remove that pick from office.
Sanfelippo said making the superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction an appointed position would make it more accountable. The officially non-partisan post is currently held by Tony Evers.
“We need a superintendent that is more accountable to the Legislature and the governor, who funds education and who taxes the people to pay for education,” Sanfelippo said. The constitution currently calls for a statewide election for superintendent every four years. Repealing that provision would require passage in two consecutive legislative sessions followed by approval in a statewide referendum.
“I think this would be a terrible idea,” said state Representative Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains), who serves on the Assembly Committee on Education. “I think it’s a very thinly veiled attempt to increase the school privatization effort.”