Worland News 12-1-17

An audio version of this news available here.

The Casper Star Tribune reports a funding analysis of parts of Wyoming’s education system showed that the state spends similarly to its peers in those areas, consultants told lawmakers Wednesday.
“It’s comparable to all the studies in general,” consultant Mark Fermanich told lawmakers on the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration, which is conducting a broad examination of Wyoming’s education system.
The analysis looked at 12 pieces of Wyoming’s funding model and compared them to other states as part of the broader view of the school system. While the list included major parts of the Cowboy State’s method — including special education and class sizes — it was not exhaustive. It did not compare salaries, for instance, which account for the vast majority of districts’ budgets.
How much Wyoming spends on education has been a regular topic of discussion over the past year, as the state grapples with an education funding crisis that, while smaller than once anticipated, still amounts to more than $340 million for the coming two-year budget cycle. Notable legislators, including Senate President Eli Bebout, have suggested that now is the time to examine those spending levels and determine if Wyoming is receiving a proper return on its educational investment.
The state spends more than $17,000 per student, more than its neighbors and more than most states in the U.S. While other lawmakers have pushed back on the suggestion that Wyoming isn’t getting the proper bang for its buck, the idea that schools are over-funded persists.

U.S. Congressman Liz Cheney is announcing that her Field Representative, Lindy Linn is scheduled to hold Office Hours in Hot Springs County on the following date at the following location and time:
December 5th, 2017 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Hot Springs County Library 344 Arapahoe in Thermopolis
Area residents are encouraged to come to visit with Linn on an individual basis to discuss issues, or their views regarding the federal government. These ideas and concerns will then be relayed to Congressman Cheney.
If residents are unable to attend at that time, but would like information or assistance, please contact Congressman Cheney’s Riverton office at 307-277-9701.

A school district in rural northwest Wyoming is surveying its community on the possibility of allowing employees to carry concealed guns in Powell school buildings.
The Powell Tribune reports Park County School District 1 launched an online survey on Tuesday aimed at figuring out where employees and parents stand on the issue.
District officials say they’re addressing the matter after an employee requested to carry a gun in school earlier this month. State lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year to allow concealed guns on school campuses.
The district board plans to discuss the survey in January.

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