Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction said that the state needs to be careful about accepting federal funding because with funding there are strings attached. In a press conference in Gov. Matt Mead's Office Wednesday, State Superintendent Cindy Hill encouraged people to stay apprised of what's happening with education because there's a lot going on at the federal level, the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind, for example.

Federal education money:

 

"Approximately 6 percent of our budget is federally funded, regarding, I would say, 120 million dollars, and so it does matter to us what happens. Those dollars are attached to No Child Left Behind, and it matters on how we actually carry those funds through and what it does for our kids in our schools."

Superintendent Hill said Wyoming wouldn't be applying for a waiver because the re-authorization will change the law.

Waive the waiver:

 

"Our state did not step into the waiver process, November 1st, and I don't know that we will in February. I think it's wise for us to see what No Child Left Behind's re-authorization looks like because the law will matter. Right now, those who have stepped into the waiver process, they'll have to contend with what the differences are with the law and what they've already agreed to."

An example of federal funding that comes with strings attached was the Race to the Top, an Obama administration, proposed education reform that puts emphasis on early education.

Funds bring obligation:

 

"Race to the Top was one of those stimulus funds, if you will; it had some strings attached that the people of Wyoming didn't have an opportunity to actually speak to. And in our state, the people's voice matters, so we want to make certain that we have all of our ducks in a row before we apply for funds that require certain things of us."

Wyoming needs to complete adoption of common core standards, acknowledges Hill, and some of those federal conditions make sense for the state, such as one condition in the waiver that would reduce the career credit requirements for districts, which Hill said she liked but we need to be prudent.