The state Supreme Court has struck down a law that sought to give the governor more oversight over the Department of Public Instruction.
The 2011 law required state agencies to seek approval from the governor before they create administrative rules that help implement state laws. The DPI challenged the law, arguing a 1996 court ruling protects the independence of the state superintendent’s oversight of the agency.
In a 4-3 decision, a split conservative majority on the court sided with the DPI, saying the law unconstitutionally gives the governor and Secretary of Administration control over education policy.
State Superintendent Tony Evers applauded the ruling as a victory for public education. “It is a reflection of the value our public schools provide to communities across Wisconsin and the importance of having an independent state superintendent oversee that system,” Evers said. “More than anything else, this ruling provides much needed stability for our schools and the students they serve. I hope we can now get back to focusing on what works best for our kids.”
AUDIO: Superintendent Evers says the law was “chipping away” at his authority (:43)
Asked to comment on the ruling, a spokesman for Governor Scott Walker said “We will continue to advocate for policies that prioritize student success. Beginning with the Act 10 reforms in 2011, Governor Walker is dedicated to challenging the status quo when it impedes the ability of parents, school boards, and students to get the best educational outcomes.”