State residents will have the opportunity to give the Wyoming Department of Education input on how they should implement a new federal education law. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, in December, which gives states more authority over education.
Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow said states will soon have new responsibilities for education at the local level, including how to spend federal funding. She said school districts’ new purchasing powers will allow them to put money where it will make the most difference. If you’re a taxpayer in Wyoming, Balow said, you’re also a stakeholder in the state’s education system.
“Citizens across the state think that they don’t have a value to add in terms of the ESSA process, because they are just a parent, just a grandparent, just a business owner,” said Balow. “But those are the very voices that we need to hear from.”
Balow also said the new law will encourage school districts to think beyond test scores.
“We want to make sure that students have an opportunity to take part in a well-rounded education, not one that only measures proficiency in reading, writing, and math,” said Balow.
The Wyoming Department of Education will begin a listening tour on October 26 at Casper College at 6:30, and will include five different stops in Riverton, Gillette, Rock Springs, Powell, and Cheyenne. There is also an online survey available here through December 31.