ERIC Number: ED418461
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Wyoming's "Education Reform & Cost Study."
Meyer, Joseph B.
A history of education in the state of Wyoming, along with a description of recent legislative initiatives, are presented in this paper. It opens with statewide reorganizations begun in the 1960s that unified school districts and equalized property valuation. A decade later a court order ruled the system inequitable and new laws provided for a uniform tax rate to be levied annually for all school districts thereby obviating taxpayer equity complaints in the operational area of school budgets. From 1983 to 1993 funding increased for schools but many citizen were still unhappy, which resulted in lawsuits and a model for reform. This resultant model created three prototype schools covering elementary (K-5), middle (6-8), and high school (9-12) and provided financial input for uniform categories of services and goods as the elements for annual distribution of state aid. The effects of these changes are discussed, including the intent of the reform, the remaining inequality in public education, and the use of annual cost surveys and adjustments in the model to arrive at the averages so it will adjust to increased costs. However, unless the legislature increases revenues appropriated into the school finance system, there may be "winners" and "losers" among the school districts. (Includes a summary of Wyoming's cost-based school finance system.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Forum on Education Adequacy of the National Conference of State Legislatures (Washington, DC, November 8, 1997).