Wyoming Backs Off Local Control

Last Updated: March 30, 2011

This article appeared in the March 2011 Rural Policy Matters.

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The Wyoming legislative session has ended with Governor Matt Mead signing into law several key pieces of education legislation, including the five-year school finance recalibration required by the Campbell school funding court decision. A significant change this year requires districts to limit class sizes in grades K–3 to 16 students. This requirement represents a move away from the block grant funding approach that allowed Wyoming districts to make decisions locally about how best to use state funding.

The legislature debated a number of accountability-style measures in this session. An attempt to repeal teacher tenure failed, but a bill requiring school districts to measure teacher performance annually with a provision tied to student academic achievement was passed into law. Another new law will use state standardized test scores to divide schools into groups according to their performance.

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Background on funding model recalibration:

Background on accountability emphasis and teacher tenure legislation:

Summary of legislation passed:

Read more from the March 2011 Rural Policy Matters.