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.