Legislature Approves Hedonic Model

Jan 18, 2012

A new Wyoming School Finance bill has been approved by the Legislature's Joint Education Committee, but it has its critics. 

The biggest concern is over a portion of the bill that is called the regional cost adjustment, which applies to salaries districts get and takes into consideration where a district is located. 

The committee has decided to shift to a new funding mechanism called the hedonic wage index, that will reduce what the state pays for salaries by about seven million dollars. 

Teton County Schools Superintendent Pam Shay notes that it removes a number of cost of living factors that make Jackson an expensive place to liveandsays the new formula will devastate her district.

"It would stop us dead in our tracks,” says Shay. “ We would have to go through a devastating restructuring, it is 3.8 million dollars that we would be losing and that is a minimum of 40 positions."

Shay says they would also eliminate any innovative programs. 

Committee Co-Chairman Matt Teeters admits there is a problem in Jackson that they will need to fix and he is adding some money into the formula to try and hold districts harmless.  The committee also decided not to add education pay hikes into the model, after learning that Wyoming educators make more than just about any other set of teachers in the country.