Leading up to the 2018 budget session, Wyoming lawmakers hired education consultants to study the school funding model.
The idea was to find ways the state can save money while still meeting its constitutional obligation to provide all students with a proper education. The consultants have released a 552-page draft of their recommendations and they’re taking public feedback through an online survey.
They suggest sticking with much of the current funding model, but have suggested reforms in four key areas. The consultants recommend adjusting the funding formula to the higher cost districts actually pay teachers, increasing resources for at-risk students and English Language Learners, increasing the student to teacher ratio to 16:1 for K-3rd grade, and 21:1 for 4th-12th grade, and improve how funding is determined for small, medium and large districts.
Justin Silverstein, from APA Consulting, said they want the final recommendations to be guided by what’s right for Wyoming. “During the process a lot of the feedback was in specific areas.” Silverstein said an online survey, “allows folks to give feedback now that they’ve seen the overall set of recommendations.”
Silverstein added the survey is open to anyone -- educators and community members. He said they are looking for general reactions, and also “the finer detail recommendations that education policy people are thinking about, or if you’re a parent with a specific concern in a specific area you can dig right into that also.”
The deadline for participation in the survey is December 31.