National Legislative Conference

Dear Superintendents,

This week was the annual legislative conference for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The conference is an unsurpassed opportunity to network with colleagues from other states, work for a day with state board counterparts attending the NASBE conference, and to receive updates from the USDE and others. Here are a few takeaways:

  • The “skinny budget” proposed by the Trump Administration has $9 billion in cuts to education.
  • The proposed budget outlines $9 billion in cuts including the elimination of several programs.
  • Congress determines the budget and the President’s plan is a first step. We will all monitor this closely, including Wyoming’s federal delegation, over the next months. There is no need to plan for cuts in the “skinny budget” at this time.
  • The USDE is not yet staffed at the deputy level, including in K-12 education.
  • States submitting their ESSA plans in April are nearing the finish line and their plans are out for comment. The states that are submitting plans this summer are going about the same pace as Wyoming.
Members of the State Board and WDE staff stand on the stage of the auditorium at Wheatland high school as music teacher Mr. Bradley explains the upgrades made to the lighting system through a grant administered by the WDE.
The State Board tours Wheatland High School and learns how they used an Education Trust Fund grant

ESSA–Wyoming Accountability Survey

Aggregated results are summarized in the linked report that was shared with the State Board this week.

Accountability Survey Summary Report

There were 550 surveys with superintendents representing 105 respondents. Superintendents were the second largest constituency, next to teachers. Survey results will help WDE in the development of the State ESSA plan.

Important Memos This Week

I encourage you to preview this week’s memos. There are memos about the implementation of legislation, the Wyoming Trust Fund grant, and a STEM survey for high school representatives.  I’d like to highlight two pieces of information:

  1. Last year the Wyoming Trust Fund grants were not fully expended. We are hoping to grant 100%+ grants this year.  Please let us know if we should conduct a technical assistance webinar to share how the grants can be used or to assist with the application process. In the photo above, Wheatland High School teacher, Evan Bradley, shared how they used the grant to upgrade lighting and music technology in the auditorium.
  2. We are working to set a meeting with the various state education partners, including WASA, to debrief about legislation passed this session. We will cover all education bills that were passed, discuss implementation, impacts, and challenges.

Memos to be released Monday, March 27:

Jillian