CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The secretary of state's office says the drive to repeal a new law reducing the powers and duties of Wyoming's superintendent of public instruction has failed.

State Election Director Peggy Nighswonger said Friday that the referendum effort collected almost 22,000 signatures, well short of the 37,000 needed to put the issue before voters in the 2014 election.

The Wyoming Constitution Party led the effort.

Organizer Jennifer Young issued a statement that the referendum may have failed but the referendum on the lawmakers and Gov. Matt Mead who enacted the law this past winter is just beginning.

The law's biggest change replaced the superintendent as head of the state Education Department with a director appointed by the governor.

The change came in the middle of Superintendent Cindy Hill's four-year term.

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