Education

WPM is committed to covering education issues in Wyoming in a thoughtful and thorough way. This page captures all education-related stories we've aired and updates you on broad issues.

President Biden has laid out his vision for the future of public education, which includes a nationwide community college tuition waiver for all Americans who want to take advantage.

That waiver would be especially impactful in states with the lowest levels of higher education attainment, including several in the Mountain West. In Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico, fewer than 30% of adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree.

Wyoming Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education is proposing a new set of priorities that would incentivize changes to the way history and civics is taught. The federal government is encouraging K-12 schools to include diverse perspectives in history and civics and to take notice of systemic racism in America's history.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with State Superintendent Jillian Balow about the proposal, which Balow sharply criticized.

Screenshot


The plan to build an immersion program at St. Stephens Indian School in Fremont County had been years in the making. Immersion language programs use various techniques to encourage bilingual learning. This program was going to have three teachers in a classroom of around a dozen kindergartners. The teachers would teach kindergarteners everything they normally do, only half in English and half in Arapaho.

Wyoming State Board of Education

The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) is seeking statewide input regarding high school graduation standards. The new initiative is called "Profile of a Graduate."

Participants are asked to share their ideas about the knowledge, skills, and attributes Wyoming students should have when they graduate from high school.

Joe Riis

The Wyoming Wildlife Foundation is partnering up with Science Kids, and the Draper Natural History Museum, to provide a hands-on course for kids to help build wildlife friendly fences.

Wyoming School Boards Association


One of the top priorities of many legislators was to reduce spending for K-12 education. Governor Mark Gordon has mentioned it in his last couple of State of the State messages and the legislature was just a conference committee away from passing a bill to do that. But a major disagreement between the House and Senate over whether there should just be reductions or reductions that included some revenue led to the bill's demise.

It led Casper Senator Charles Scott to claim that the House was a bunch of tax and spend liberals. That overreaction probably won't help future discussions go any smoother, but it's also likely the issue isn't off the table. The good news for school districts is that they won't see cuts this year. Brian Farmer is the Director of the Wyoming School Boards Association. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck asked him to break down what happened.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House and Senate could not reach a compromise on a school funding bill that would have cut around $135 million over three years. The bill is dead for the session.

Gayle Schorenberg and Ray Jones


Ray Jones is a junior at Natrona County High School. Jones is also this year's Poetry Out Loud State Champion.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that supports poetry by offering free educational materials and hosting a recitation competition for high schools across the country. It's a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and state arts agencies. In this case, the Wyoming Arts Council.

Wyoming Public Radio's Naina Rao sits down with Jones to talk about winning the competition, what's next for national championships, and what got Jones into poetry.

Public Domain, via sckrx

Victoria Bush has been teaching art at the Cody Elementary Schools for three years.

"I've got one kiddo that, you know, he does struggle academically, but he's got kind of like a spunk," she said.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to an education funding bill that would cut close to $80 million out of school funding over three years.

Melodie Edwards

The House Education Committee has tabled a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with school construction. It likely kills the bill.

by Max Klingensmith / Flickr

The Cody School District has started reviewing its budget ahead of potential cuts at the legislative level.

Park County School #6 has cut almost 16 full-time positions due to an upcoming statute deadline for renewing or ending staff contracts. The school district made the cuts via retirement, attrition or elimination.

CCO Public Domain

After debating it for a few weeks, the Wyoming House gave final approval to a school finance bill. It includes budget cuts and adds revenue to make up for a $300 million budget shortfall for K-12 education.

Wyoming Education Association


Over the last couple of weeks, the Wyoming House and Senate have been making changes to the funding model that funds schools in the state. Most of the focus has been on cuts, with the Senate trimming over $100 million and the House cutting an additional $60 million.

The funding model provides money that schools say they need to operate and is court mandated. To change the model there needs to be evidence that less money for schools is needed. Grady Hutcherson, President of the Wyoming Education Association, discussed whether lawmakers are following the law.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives made a number of cuts to the school funding model that increased the reductions in an education funding bill to close to $70 million.

sheridanwyoming.com

The Wyoming Senate is debating a proposed constitutional amendment that would take the funding of school buildings out of the hands of the state and return it to local districts.

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that the state needs to pay for school buildings and upkeep.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming's Board of Trustees have selected Kevin Carman as the next provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

Carman served as the provost at the University of Nevada, Reno from 2013 to 2020. The decision was announced Wednesday.

 

Most students enrolled half-time or more in college typically aren't eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes known as food stamps. But temporary changes to the federal program are allowing some low-income students to take advantage during the pandemic.

Gonzalo Guzman

Felix Mercado was born in Worland in 1940. His parents, originally from Mexico, had traveled around the United States, eventually settling in Worland as sugar beet farmers where he and his older brothers grew up.

Gillette College

A bill that would set up Gillette College to split from the Northern Wyoming Community College District has passed the Wyoming Senate.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House Education Committee has come up with a brand new bill to address the school funding shortfall. The committee set aside House Bill 61 that they had been working on in favor of a new bill, House Bill 173 that now would reduce education funding by $31 million.

Gretchen Henrich

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West's Youth advisory board has received a grant from the Smithsonian Institute for sage grouse conservation.

Catherine Wheeler

Wyoming's Senate voted to move forward with a bill that would allow Campbell County to form its own community college district.

The bill would set up the framework for the separation of Gillette College from the Northern Wyoming Community College District. If the legislation passes, Campbell County voters would have to approve a ballot measure for the new college district to be created.

Bob Beck

A Wyoming legislative committee continues to work on a bill that would reduce spending on K-12 education.

The House education committee continues to reduce the proposed cut of $100 million. After several amendments, the proposed cut is down to roughly $22 million.

State of Wyoming


Wyoming's legislature meets next week and among the topics will be education spending and budget cuts. Gov. Mark Gordon joined Bob Beck to talk about a number of things including some of the budget challenges the state is facing.

City of Powell

Throughout this past summer, the Park County School District #1 administration in Powell was focusing on how to reopen schools safely for their students amid the pandemic. Then Ginger Sleep, the district's special services director, said they got another surprise.

Catherine Wheeler

Buffalo High School sophomore Caydence Engling said growing up, she thought she wanted to be a doctor because she likes to help people.

Folger Shakespeare Library under CC BY-SA 4.0

A 17th-century book known as the Baumfylde Manuscript is giving insight into the lives and priorities of people of the past. Wyoming Public Radio's Ivy Engel spoke to UW professor Peter Parolin who analyzed the manuscript.

Maciej Ciupa Flickr

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area rangers and Powell Valley Community Education are joining forces for a series of four education talks at Northwest College and online.

Wyoming Legislature

During a Wyoming House Education Committee meeting, School District officials said they have been cutting budgets for many years and those cuts are starting to erode programs. The committee is looking at cutting education funding by $100 million.

Pages