Wyoming schools could face a budget shortfall of $700 million in the two-year funding cycle that starts next summer.

Superintendent Jillian Balow says the Wyoming Department of Education has been looking at ways to be more efficient, even though Governor Matt Mead has promised to stand firm on funding for education.

"We were prepared to present significant budget cuts anyway, but we've gone back through and kind of taken a scalpel to our entire budget," said Balow. "While our legislature remains largely committed to education, we can't overextend ourselves."

Balow says she doesn't plan to cut any staff, but she is subject to the state hiring freeze Governor Mead implemented in early October.

"This is our new normal in the state of Wyoming and it will continue to be," said Balow. "The consequences of our economic downturn in Wyoming are not overnight, they'll be felt over the course of the next biennium or the next couple of years, but we can certainly be proactive and plan for those now."