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K-12 Enrollment Statewide Increases Slightly But Some Districts Decline

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Wyoming Department of Education
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While Wyoming's overall population saw a slight decline this year, the number of students enrolled in the state's K-12 schools saw a slight increase. An additional 53 students brought statewide fall enrollment to 93,029.

Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said that's a good sign.

"Despite what we were feeling over the last year —that people were leaving the state —that ended up not being the case with a certain demographic that has school aged kids," said Balow.

She said Wyoming's schools are and should continue to be a part of the conversation about the state's vitality.

"I really like to think that our quality education system is a factor as we diversify our economy and bring new people into Wyoming," Balow said.

She said she's heard that Wyoming's schools draw families to the state, and motivate them to stay.

Balow added that while there was a slight increase statewide each district has its own story to tell. Sheridan County School District #1 and Laramie County School District #1 grew by over 80 students while Sweetwater County School District #1 has 101 fewer students.

Those shifts in enrollment are a critical piece of the formula that determines funding for school districts across the state. Decreases in funding are based on a 3-year rolling average so schools with a decline in enrollment won't take an immediate cut. However, districts with growing enrollment will see an immediate funding increase.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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