A Wyoming district judge has entered a formal order finding that the bulk of a state law that passed last year stripping most duties from the state superintendent of public instruction is unconstitutional.

Friday's order from District Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne, apparently removes the last barrier to Supt. Cindy Hill returning to run the Wyoming Department of Education.

Campbell's order follows a decision the Wyoming Supreme Court entered early this year that found the law unconstitutional.

Hill has pressed the legal challenge to the law.

Campbell upheld five minor portions of the law, including that the superintendent prepare an annual report on the status of the state school system.

The following is a statement made by Cindy Hill:

Today, April 18th, we close a most interesting chapter in Wyoming history.

As you know, 15 months ago the governor signed into law a bill that removed the superintendent as the head of the department of education and stripped away most of the duties of the office.

On January 28th of this year, the Wyoming Supreme Court found that law to be unconstitutional.

Today the district court entered its final judgment ordering that I be allowed to return as the head of the Wyoming Department of Education.

The district court agreed that SF104 was unconstitutional with a few exceptions.

For example, Judge Campbell granted the governor’s request that I not be allowed to have counsel, it also granted the governor’s request that he be allowed to appoint half the members of the professional teaching standards board.

While I can’t say I agree with the wisdom of these findings, the Powers and I will not appeal this judgment, as it would only cause further delays.

We have been anticipating this order and my staff has been preparing and working with the WDE and the governor’s office to ensure a smooth and timely transition.

We plan to meet Monday morning, April 21st, and get back to work.

As we turn to the next chapter, I recognize there is much work to be done and I am confident that the staff at the WDE is up to the task.