(Gillette, Wyo.) Wyoming Education districts have faced budget cut after budget cut and are now even considering cutting more programs from the educational system.
With more budget cuts looming on the horizon, Campbell County Superintendent Boyd Brown expresses concerns that additional job and classroom programming losses will soon follow.
Parents and school district employees received a letter this week from Brown, where he advocated against the budget cuts and the important positive influences the funding for education has on local economies.
“It is estimated that 85 percent of the approximately $1.2 billion K-12 Wyoming block grant funding recirculates through our local communities about twice annually.” Brown wrote in the letter.
“The positive and essential economic impact of our school system cannot be denied.”
Brown stated school budgets have been dramatically reduced by an estimated $1.71 million, with $71 million being lost to the school district in the last two year alone. Statewide, as a result of the budget cuts, districts reported in a survey that at least 577 jobs have been lost and 44 out 46 school districts have been forced to cut educational programs.
Brown requested those who would be affected by any further budget cuts to voice any objections with state officials.
There are four public meetings being held across Wyoming this month, and Brown asked parents with kids in the school district to attend these meetings.
According to the letter received by parents and staff, topics of interest for these meetings will be:
- The Wyoming “Basket of Goods” which includes reading/ language arts, social studies, math science, etc.
- Activities and Athletics- according to Brown, 50 percent of Wyoming School Districts have reported cutting athletics and school activities.
- Class Sizes and proper school facilities- Brown wrote that the massive budget cuts have resulted in increased class sizes and the lack of energy income to the region is delaying the building of essential school facilities.
- Jobs and Economic Stability- “Should the legislature cut budgets further, resulting in more school programming and job losses?” According to Brown, the school funding model was originally designed to protect students from the changing nature of our economy; however, the recent budget cuts have resulted in an all too real impact on Wyoming schools and students.
“Wyoming’s school leaders have been working with elected and state officials for several years, advocating for children, jobs and the future of Wyoming’ economy,” Brown wrote. “Your voice is important, and your legislators need to hear from you as they head into one of the most important budget sessions in Wyoming’s history”
Here are the locations and times for all four of the public school meetings:
Rock Springs Junior High Auditorium and Cafeteria,
Monday, August 14, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
3500 Foothill Blvd. Rock Springs, Wyo.
Cody High School Cafeteria and Band Room
Tuesday, August 15, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
1225 10th Street, Cody, Wyo.
Buffalo High School
Wednesday, August 16, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
29891 Old Hwy, Buffalo Wyoming
Laramie County School District #1 Board Room, Admin Building
Thursday, August 17, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
2810 House( Admin Building), 2811 House (Story Gym, Training Center), Cheyenne, Wyo.