Wyoming School Boards Association Sets 2019 Agenda

Nov 26, 2018

School board members from across the state gathered earlier this month at the Wyoming School Boards Association delegate assembly. The group set policy goals for the upcoming legislative session, and for the coming year.

Brian Farmer, the association's director, said those goals fall in four main areas. They include looking at the accountability system, and how districts are expected to hold teachers accountable. Another issue was equity with a focus on how to guarantee students have the same opportunities across the state while also giving districts flexibility to meet local priorities.

Farmer said school funding, also, received a lot of attention.

"There's been two different consultants out there — two different models of what the educational basket of goods ought to look like — and then estimates of what that would cost," said Farmer. "Regardless of the consultants, the state has cut so far that we are now below the floor of either consultant."

Farmer said the Wyoming School Boards Association will push back against further cuts during the upcoming legislative session.

Last year, a bill passed granting districts the authority to arm staff, which Farmer said was also discussed at the delegate assembly.

Uinta #1 was one of two districts to pass a concealed carry policy, but that decision was overturned because the district was found to be in violation of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. The main issue being the public comment period provided by Uinta #1 was shorter than 45 days.

Farmer said the association will work on clarifying the policies this year as well.

"So we can give some guidance to districts saying this is a process that we recommend you use that's going to strike that balance between due process that the public should expect and the districts desire to move in an expeditious manner."

The delegates also discussed a need to approach school safety and security in a way that accounts for mass casualty situations with active shooters, as well as personal safety issues like bullying and suicide.