Politics & Government

Panel hears bill to take schools chief off ballot

The state Senate Education Committee is hearing testimony Wednesday on a proposal that would take the superintendent of public instruction off the ballot and make the job an appointed position.

Senator Rodney Tom has taken Gov. Chris Gregoire's idea to consolidate all education programs under one cabinet position one step further by making the leader of that new department be appointed by the governor and eliminating the elected superintendent.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has called the governor's restructuring proposal a smokescreen away from more important issues about state dollars for education.

Both the governor's and Tom's proposals are scheduled to be discussed at a public hearing at 8 a.m. Both Gregoire and Dorn plan to testify.

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Tom's proposal is in Joint Resolution 8212 and Senate Bill 5522. The governor's proposal is still in draft form.

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