As a result of several Wyoming Supreme Court cases, referred to as the Campbell decisions, the Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed that Wyoming’s Constitution guarantees a high-quality education for every Wyoming child as a fundamental right. To ensure the Legislature continually reviews the “basket of goods and services” that comprise a high-quality education, the Court directed the legislature to conduct a review of the system, roughly every five years, called “recalibration.”
The recalibration process includes reviewing what should be included in the “basket of goods and services” that provides a high-quality education, determining the cost associated with providing that education, and locating and allocating sufficient funds to pay for it.
On Tuesday, December 3rd the Management Council of the Wyoming legislature approved contracts to begin the process of conducting the 2020 recalibration of the state’s Education Resource Block Grant Model (funding Model). The Council sought a bid from Picus, Odden & Associates, the same firm that has conducted the work every five years since 2005.
In the proposed work statement, PO&A included options to study areas currently outside of the funding model. These included:
There was much debate about including the above topics, with failed motions to exclude Pre-K, and others. Ultimately, the Council approved funding the entire proposed work statement and adding a provision that allows the consultants to explore options not specifically outlined in that proposed work statement.
WEA Executive Director, Ron Sniffin, testified that as the consultants review Wyoming’s education system during the 2020 recalibration, it is critical that active Wyoming educators' voice and expertise be solicited and incorporated in determining final recommendations. In addition, he stressed WEA’s strong support for Pre-K education, and recommended including all of the studies proposed in the work statement.
Once the final contract is approved, the proposed recalibration work should begin in January and conclude with a final report in November of 2020. WEA will continue to follow and keep members informed on the recalibration process.