Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Wyoming
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Wyoming has a primarily resource-based formula. It determines the cost of delivering education in a district based on the cost of the resources, such as staff salaries and course materials, required to do so.  

Services for students with disabilities and students identified as gifted are provided through a program-based allocation. Specific grade levels, low-income students, English language learners, students enrolled in career and technical education programs, and sparsely populated districts are considered in the allocation of funding for staff costs.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-13-309(v)(A)
Personal communication from Jed Cicarelli, Foundation Program Supervisor, WY Department of Education, on 4/11/16

 

Base Amount

The state of Wyoming uses a resource-based funding formula and therefore does not use a base per-student amount as the basis for its funding.

Expected Local Share

Wyoming expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise for its education costs is based primarily on its property values: each district is required to contribute $25.00 for every thousand dollars of property wealth for the purpose of funding its schools. Additionally, each county is required to impose a tax of $6.00 per thousand dollars of property wealth, with the revenue to be pooled at the county level and then allocated to the districts within the county in proportion to their enrollment.

The state also expects districts to contribute revenue received from a number of other sources, including of federal forest reserve revenues and railroad car company taxes. Once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it subtracts the expected local contribution and provides the difference in the form of state education aid.  School districts in Wyoming must contribute exactly the expected amount, no more and no less. When a school district’s expected local contribution exceeds the amount calculated by the state to be necessary for that district, the excess revenue is rebated to the state Department of Education and redirected to aid other districts.

Actual state education aid disbursements are limited to the amount appropriated for that purpose, and will be prorated as necessary so that each district receives state aid in proportion to the amount calculated by the state to be necessary to educate students within that district. Additionally, no school district may receive less total revenue than it did in FY2006, except as justified by a decrease in student enrollment.

source(s):

Source 1
Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-13-102, § 21-13-201, and § 21-13-312

Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Wyoming provides different levels of funding for students in different grade levels.  It does so through its resource-based formula by specifying class sizes for two different grade spans, and providing funding accordingly.

The state assigns a class size of 16 for grades K-5 and of 21 for grades 6-12. These class sizes determine the number of resource units to which a district is entitled.

source(s):

Source 1

English-Language Learner

Wyoming provides increased funding for English language learners. It does so through a block grant that provides funding for additional pupil support staff to serve at-risk students, including English language learners.

At-risk students also include those who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program and mobile secondary students. A student is only counted once for the purposes of this funding even if he or she meets multiple qualifying criteria.

source(s):

Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-13-309(v)(A)

Student Poverty

Wyoming provides increased funding for students from low-income households. It does so through a block grant that provides funding for additional pupil support staff to serve at-risk students.

At-risk students include those who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) under the National School Lunch Program. (The program also counts students in other categories, including those with limited English proficiency and mobile secondary students. A student is only counted once for the purposes of this funding even if he or she meets multiple qualifying criteria.)

source(s):

Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-13-309(v)(A)
Personal communication from Jed Cicarelli, Foundation Program Supervisor, WY Department of Education, on 4/11/16

Special Education

Wyoming funds special education using a reimbursement system, in which districts report their special education expenses to the state and receive reimbursement for all of those expenses.

As part of its larger education grants to each school district, the state is expected to provide an amount sufficient to reimburse 100% of the amount spent in the previous school year on special education programs and services. The reimbursement may only be for direct costs, rather than those that indirectly benefit children with disabilities, such as utilities and administration. Teacher costs may be included, prorated according to the percentage of time they spend on special education.

source(s):

Source 1
WY Ann. Sta. § 21-13-321

Gifted

Wyoming provides additional resources for gifted and talented students. It does so through a flat allocation for each student in the district.

In FY2016, the state provided districts with $30.27 per student to support gifted and talented education. This money is allocated in accordance with the total enrollment of the district.

This funding is allocated with no use restrictions.

source(s):

Source 1
Personal communication from Jed Cicarelli, Foundation Program Supervisor, Wyoming Department of Education, on 4/11/16

Career and Technical Education

Wyoming provides specific funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.29 to the number of students enrolled in these programs so as to inflate the student count used to generate funding for teacher units, and through a program-specific allocation for CTE equipment and supplies.

In FY2015, the state provided funds for each full-time-equivalent CTE teacher for equipment and supplies, in the amount of $1,752.75 for new equipment; $875.70 for equipment replacement; and $6,466.52 for supplies.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2

Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Wyoming does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Wyoming provides increased funding for small schools and districts by guaranteeing minimum numbers of staff positions for schools and districts with low enrollment.

In schools with enrollment of no more than 49 students in any grade band (elementary, middle, or high school grades), the state provides funding for staff positions in accordance with a student-to-staff ratio of seven to one and also funds one assistant principal position. Districts with fewer than 244 students receive funding for at least one teacher for every grade level in each school.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2
Personal communication from Jed Cicarelli, Foundation Program Supervisor, WY Department of Education, on 5/20/16