Published: January 6, 2005

Finance Snapshots

Wyoming

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In response to the Campbell I and Campbell II court cases in Wyoming, the state legislature commissioned an adequacy study in 1997, which was then revised in 2002. The study used the “professional judgment” model, based on three “prototypical” schools, one for each grade span. The study provided a method for the state to calculate the cost of providing an adequate education in elementary, middle, and high schools. For the 2004-05 school year, the foundation levels for those grade spans are $6,230 for elementary schools, $6,201 for middle schools, and $6,524 for high schools. To calculate each district’s allotment, the foundation level is multiplied by the district’s average daily membership. The state then subtracts the required local share of a 6-mill countywide school property tax and a 25-mill districtwide levy. If local revenues exceed the district’s foundation guarantee, the state recaptures the excess aid and distributes it to other districts. Wyoming’s formula includes adjustments to district entitlements for transportation, special education, cost-of-living, the experience and seniority of teachers, at-risk students, English-language learners, and vocational education students. Wyoming also has 15 categorical programs. The five largest are special education, transportation, major maintenance, education reform, and reading assessment.

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Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 76

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