Wisconsin Constitution
Article X - Education
Section 1 - Superintendent of public instruction.

Universal Citation: WI Const art X § 1
[As amended Nov. 1902 and Nov. 1982] The supervision of public instruction shall be vested in a state superintendent and such other officers as the legislature shall direct; and their qualifications, powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. The state superintendent shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and in the same manner as members of the supreme court, and shall hold office for 4 years from the succeeding first Monday in July. The term of office, time and manner of electing or appointing all other officers of supervision of public instruction shall be fixed by law. [1899 J.R. 16, 1901 J.R. 3, 1901 c. 258, vote Nov. 1902; 1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982]

This section confers no more authority upon school officers than that delineated by statute. Arbitration Between West Salem & Fortney, 108 Wis. 2d 167, 321 N.W.2d 225 (1982).

The legislature may not give any “other officer" authority equal or superior to that of the state superintendent. Thompson v. Craney, 199 Wis. 2d 674, 546 N.W.2d 123 (1996), 95-2168.

The state superintendent of public instruction's supervisory authority under this section is an executive function. However, the state superintendent's powers and duties are set by the legislature. The state superintendent, therefore, has two different sources for its authority. The source for the state superintendent's rulemaking authority is legislative delegation. Because rulemaking is not “supervision of public instruction" within the meaning of this section, it is of no constitutional concern whether the governor is given equal or greater legislative authority than the state superintendent in rulemaking. Koschkee v. Taylor, 2019 WI 76, 387 Wis. 2d 552, 929 N.W.2d 600, 17-2278.

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