Public education in Wyoming
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Studies and reports
- 10 School districts
- 11 Education ballot measures
- 12 Recent news
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
List of school districts in Wyoming
Public education in Wyoming
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the Wyoming Department of Education reads:
|“||The Wyoming Department of Education will serve as a supportive partner to districts, schools, and communities to maximize student achievement, facilitate teacher and leader effectiveness, and ensure that every Wyoming student has safe access to an excellent education that prepares them for life after secondary school. Through the use of this collaborative model, Wyoming will take its place as a nationwide leader in public education.||”|
The Wyoming State Board of Education sets education policy for the state's public school system and advocates on behalf of students, teachers and citizens. The board has 12 members, including the Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Wyoming Department of Education adopted these standards on June 16, 2012, and will fully implement them during the 2014-2015 school year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Wyoming compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Wyoming as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic Information for Wyoming's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||123||0.14%||0.42%|
|Two or More||1,557||1.73%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Wyoming attend town schools. This is different from neighboring states, as students in Idaho and Montana are more likely to attend rural schools than town schools, and students in Utah are more likely to attend suburban schools than town schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Idaho, Montana, and Utah), Wyoming had the highest percentage of students score at or above proficient in math in fourth grade and eighth grade.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Wyoming was higher than the national average at 5.4 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 4.3 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Wyoming
Wyoming ranks last in the U.S. in private school attendance. Other school choice options for students in the state include charter schools, homeschooling, online learning and voluntary public school open enrollment policies.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Wyoming state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 3.9 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 13.8 percentage points, a 77.97 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 17.7 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Over half of Wyoming's education revenue comes from state funding. Local funding accounts for about 37 percent, and federal funding accounts for about nine percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Wyoming totaled approximately $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Wyoming and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Wyoming totaled approximately $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Wyoming and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Wyoming, the average salary increased by 24.2 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Wyoming ranked 29th overall, or average, which was in the middle tier of five.
- See also: Wyoming government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Wyoming School Boards Association.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Wyoming received a score of 79.9, or a B- average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. The state's highest score was in "school finance" at 90.3, or an A- average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 66.7, or a D+ average. Wyoming received the highest score in the "school finance" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of Wyoming and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Wyoming||79.9 (B-)||70.0 (C-)||79.3 (C+)||66.7 (D+)||90.3 (A-)||78.6 (C+)|
|Idaho||74.2 (C)||69.8 (C-)||86.6 (B+)||60.5 (D-)||60.0 (D-)||71.4 (C-)|
|Montana||76.3 (C)||69.7 (C-)||76.3 (C)||69.4 (D+)||73.0 (C)||60.7 (D-)|
|Utah||79.1 (C+)||69.1 (D+)||81.7 (B-)||64.5 (D)||65.2 (D)||89.3 (B+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
Wyoming contains multiple types of school districts. The most prevalent are Unified districts (K-12), which contain both elementary and high schools, Elementary districts (K-6 or K-8), which contain only elementary schools and High School districts (9-12), which contain only high schools.
- See also: List of school districts in Wyoming
School board composition
Wyoming school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. Wyoming school board elections typically select board members on an at-large basis, allowing all residents living in the school district to vote for any board candidates on the ballot.
School boards can consists of five, seven or nine members. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.
Wyoming does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.
No top enrollment districts in Wyoming are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Wyoming, a person must be:
- A citizen of the United States
- 18 years of age or older
- A resident of Wyoming at the time of the election
Candidates file applications with the county clerk at least 70 days and no more than 90 days prior to the election.
State law requires candidates to file reports about campaign contributions at least seven days before each election. Candidates must also provide detailed reports on contributions and expenditures within 10 days after each election. All campaign finance reports from local candidates are filed with the county elections office. Individuals are limited to contributing $1,000 per candidate per election and a maximum of $25,000 across all races in a two-year period.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Wyoming Nonresidential Trustees Amendment, Constitutional Amendment A (2014)
- Wyoming Permanent Fund, Constitutional Amendment C (2006)
- Wyoming School Revenue Limit, Question A (2004)
- Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Amendment (2016)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Wyoming + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Wyoming state budget and finances
- Wyoming Department of Education
- List of school districts in Wyoming
- School choice in Wyoming
- Charter schools in Wyoming
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Wyoming Department of Education
- Wyoming State Board of Education
- Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board
- Wyoming Public School Ratings by PSK12
- Wyoming Public School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Wyoming Department of Education, "Cindy Hill, WDE Superintendent," accessed June 9, 2014
- Wyoming Department of Education, "Mission & Vision," accessed June 9, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Wyoming Department of Education, "State Board of Education," accessed June 9, 2014
- Wyoming Department of Education, "State Board Members," accessed June 9, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- Wyoming Legislative Service Office, "TITLE 21 - EDUCATION," accessed July 10, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
- Wyoming Department of Education, "Graduation Rates," accessed July 11, 2014
- Wyoming School Boards Association, "Becoming a School Board Member," accessed July 9, 2014
- Wyoming Secretary of State, "Wyoming Campaign Guide," accessed July 9, 2014
State of Wyoming
List of Wyoming ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
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