Superintendent fumes over Gregoire’s education plan

Jan 6, 2011

Washington voters elected him state superintendent of public schools. Now Governor Chris Gregoire wants to takeover his portfolio. Randy Dorn is fuming over the Governor’s proposal to create a cabinet-level Department of Education.

Under Gregoire's plan, all education in Washington – from early learning to higher ed – would fall under a single Secretary of Education. And that person would report directly to the governor. So what would happen to Washington's elected Superintendent of Public Instruction?

“I’m not necessarily recommending that we eliminate the election of a Superintendent, but I am recommending that that person be accountable and report to the Secretary of Education and there’s nothing in the Constitution that would preclude us from doing that,” says Governor Gregoire.

School Superintendent Randy Dorn counters there are constitutional barriers. In a hotly worded statement, Dorn says he works for the people, not the governor. And he calls her plan a “smokescreen” that distracts from a lack of state funding for public schools.

The governor’s proposal would require legislative approval.