Lawmakers Disagree On Education Accountability

Mar 4, 2015

Pinedale Representative Albert Sommers
Credit Wyoming Legislature

The House and Senate will convene a conference committee to try and iron out a piece of legislation that supporters say is key to education reform. 

The bill sets up the next phase of a school accountability program that grades educators and provides help if they aren't meeting expectations. The House voted to remove state oversight from the bill. Pinedale Representative Albert Sommers says it goes too far.

“Schools are one thing, I think there is some validity to some kind of school accountability. But when you get to teachers and you start labeling a teacher as not meeting expectation or partially meeting and exceeding. Where else in society, where else in business, where else in state government do we actually start labeling people out in the public.”

Sommers says that oversight should be performed by local school districts. Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss says local oversight has not worked, which is why Senators want state oversight.        

“Its state funds that are going towards this. The legislature over the last several years has felt that we do have the responsibility to provide support, provide oversight, and to understand better how the money is being spent if we are not getting results.”

Rothfuss is confident the two bodies can reach a compromise and the bill will go to the governor's desk. He says it’s a critical piece of legislation.