Wyoming Superintendent: Expect Funding Casualties
Wyoming Superintendent Jillian Balow says the recent decision to close an elementary school in Sinclair will likely be the "first of many casualties" as districts face a $36 million cut in state funding.
State lawmakers recently approved the cut as part of an overall effort to fund state programs in the face of declining state revenues caused by low energy prices. Balow says not every school district in the state is necessarily looking at school closures. But she says every single school district in the state is looking at what it can do to cope with the cuts, adding they are also looking at "what can be done to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible."
She says that while closing down schools does save money, it also forces districts to bus students farther away "and that's really difficult for communities to accept."
Laramie County School District #1 Superintendent John Lyttle recently said his district will deal with the cuts by not filling some positions and generally adopting a very tight budget. He also said he thought lawmakers did the best they could in terms of dealing with a tight state budget and listening to educators.
But Lyttle said that while the situation is challenging for district such as his, it could be much more difficult for other districts, especially some of the smaller ones.