State Superintendent provides first look at education funding in Wyoming Legislature

 Jillian Balow
Jillian Balow (KGWN)
Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 3:48 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Legislative session is set to start on Jan. 12 and end on Feb. 26. Jillian Balow, Wyoming Superintendent of Public education, spoke to Wyoming News Now about what will be discussed this year.

What are the benefits of an in-person session? Are you hoping to see that in the next couple of weeks?

“When it’s in-person versus via zoom only it’s easier to have conversations. I think that’s the universal across the board that the legislators would opt for an in-person session if it’s safe and viable,” Balow said.

The topic of a structural funding deficit will be discussed. What are those details?

“They’ll be looking at this structural deficit that’s the results of the down term. They’ll be looking at deductions and they’ll be looking at new revenue sources and efficiencies within education across state government,” Balow said.

This is the year is the recalibration year too. What does this mean?

“What that means is an outside consultant takes a look at what we call our basket of goods or our funding model within the statute.”[ We want to know if] we are providing an adequate education for students, how much it costs and that cost and what is,” Balow said.

“This year is no exception the consultants have done that and they’ll be making recommendations and then the legislature will need to make a decision about whether to fund the consultants’ recommendation or make tweaks to it and fund it a little bit differently,” Balow said.

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