ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINION
Cite as: AGO 1998 No. 6[March 19, 1998]
superintendent of public instruction - state constitution - legislature -schools - education - Authority of the Legislature to define powers and duties of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
1. The Legislature has discretion to prescribe the specific duties of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and to create agencies and institutions to administer the state's public education system; however, it must respect the constitutional language granting the Superintendent "supervisory" power over the public school system.
2. The public school system, for purposes of defining the constitutional "supervision" authority of the Superintendent of public Instruction, includes the common school system of elementary, intermediate, and high schools, and would also include normal schools and technical schools if the Legislature were to create any.
3. The Legislature may not "delegate" to another officer or agency the "supervision" authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction over the public schools; however, with this restriction, the Legislature has broad discretion to create state and local agencies and institutions to administer the public education system, and to define their respective powers and duties.
The Honorable Peggy Johnson,
State Representative, 35th District
The Honorable Harold Hochstatter,
State Senator, 13th District
Joint Select Committee
on Education Restructuring
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600