In response to the current state funding crisis, the Wyoming Department of Education surveyed school districts to see how cuts were impacting their annual budgets. The results confirm the budget crisis is impacting summer programming.
Of Wyoming’s 48 districts, Big Horn School District #2 in Lovell and Teton County School District #1 in Jackson, were the only two districts not included in the survey results.
70% of school districts indicated a reduction to summer and afterschool programming, whereas 26% responded they were not making a change. 4% — or two schools — are eliminating their programming altogether.
Jed Cicarelli, the Wyoming Department of Education’s School Foundation Supervisor, said the survey came at the specific request of the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration. That committee is looking for ways to change the school funding model in an effort to reduce spending. “It was intended to inform that committee on how districts were making those steps towards budget reductions,” said Cicarelli.
The survey also asked for a comparison in spending from last year to this year. Six districts reduced summer programming last year, compared to 34 districts that reported making reductions this year.
Cicarelli said the survey results help to provide a more nuanced understanding of how cuts are impacting districts. “The block grant model is unrestricted in the sense that districts can make those decisions based on their own local needs and priorities,” said Cicarelli. “So I really think it was an opportunity for the select committee to get a feel for how districts were implementing those budget cuts.”
The 36 question survey asked about reductions to a variety of programs, as well as reductions in staff compensation and overall positions. The full results are available here.