The Start of the New Year

Dear Superintendents,

Cheers to 2017! I hope you rang in the new year with family and friends and found time to recharge your batteries. We are off and running in Wyoming education as the legislature prepares to consider a large volume of education bills on a variety of topics. I will have the opportunity to address legislators prior to the beginning of the session at their caucus. I look forward to sharing our accomplishments and challenges from 2016 and advocating for bills that help improve student outcomes.

Over the holidays, I sent you a special update about the release of “Wyoming K-12 Education Funding Deficit White Paper” and the upcoming Superintendent’s Summit, S5S. Here is an update on both:

White Paper

On December 19, the Joint Education Committee (JEC) formed the Subcommittee on Education Finance.  On December 28, the Subcommittee released the following document:  http://legisweb.state.wy.us/lsoweb/WhitePaperEducation.pdf

Feedback was requested by January 4, 2017. Here is a link to the feedback I submitted: edu.wyoming.gov/edfinance

According to the white paper, discussions about school finance will take place during the first weeks of the legislative session. To stay abreast of scheduled hearings and meetings, I encourage you to check the Wyoming Legislature website at: http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LSOWEB/Session/SessionHome.aspx

S5S-Superintendent’s Summit

A great opportunity to visit with legislators, district colleagues, and state leaders is quickly approaching. It’s likely that legislative hearings and meetings mentioned above will coincide with S5S–your district team is encouraged to attend and take advantage of all events in Cheyenne that week (legislature, S5S, State Board). Again, the Summit is free of charge for your district team of four. Please register at this link: https://edu.wyoming.gov/s5s/

7th in the Nation

The annual Quality Counts Report (published by Education Week) was released on January 4. Wyoming moved up one spot from 8th to 7th in the nation for overall education quality. We far outpaced neighboring states and had the highest score in the western United States. All states are scored on a number of indicators in three areas:

  • School Finance
  • Student Achievement
  • Chance for Success

There is insightful information in the full report and state report card about our wise investments in education and our challenges with school achievement.

The state media release with my comments and links to the report can be found at: https://edu.wyoming.gov/blog/2017/01/04/wyoming-ranked-seventh-in-education-quality/  

Several news articles have been published:

Memos to be released on Monday, January 9:

Jillian