WSBA Delegate Assembly Approved Resolutions 2017

Resolutions adopted by the 2017 Delegate Assembly will become the guiding principles for the 2018 Legislative session and will be referred to the Board of Directors of the Wyoming School Boards Association as possible Legislative Goals for the 2019 Legislative Session. The Wyoming School Boards Association Board of Directors will determine the Legislative Goals for the 2019 Legislative session at their July 2018 meeting.

2019.1 Use of Rainy Day Funds

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association encourages the legislature to utilize funds from the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (i.e., Rainy-Day Account) to the extent practical to make up for the gap in funding between anticipated revenue to the School Foundation Account and anticipated expenditures.

Rationale: After a period of economic decline in Wyoming, it appears that the State’s economy is improving. In fact, all reports of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group have indicated that State revenue is ahead of projections. Further cuts to education would cause undue hardships to Wyoming school districts. It seems appropriate to utilize savings from the State’s rainy-day account to cover what appear to be short term gaps in funding resources. At the very least, funds from the rainy-day account should be used to off-set any further cuts to education.

Submitted by
Washakie County School District #1

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.2 Support for Computer Science

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association supports the inclusion of computer science/computational thinking in the common core of skills and the development of financial and other resources to offer opportunities for students to take computer science courses.

Rationale: Computer science and computational thinking are rapidly becoming skills that are of increasing importance in the provision of a quality education. As the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration is considering the proper basket of goods that should be provided to all Wyoming school children, it is appropriate to include these skills in the Common Core of Knowledge and Skills. Computer science courses support the 21st Century Skills that Wyoming graduates must possess including Learning and Innovation Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving, Communication and Collaboration, Information Literacy, Media Literacy, Technology Literacy, Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Skills, Productivity and Accountability, and Leadership and Responsibility. With the recognition that computer science related fields are in high demand and that computer science related fields provide high-paying jobs for graduates, there is an opportunity to enhance computer science and computational thinking opportunities for Wyoming students. Not all Wyoming students have access to such opportunities at this time. There is a clear need to develop computer science courses and other computational thinking opportunities for Wyoming students. The resources for provision of these opportunities, including but not limited to the certification and recruitment of qualified teachers, need to be developed in order for students to have access to these opportunities.

We request that Wyoming school districts, the Wyoming Department of Education, and the Wyoming Legislature work collaboratively to recognize the importance of computational thinking and computer science coursework and to develop the financial and other resources that will be necessary in order to provide these opportunities to Wyoming students.

Submitted by
Campbell County School District #1
and amended by the Board of Directors

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.3 Dropout Age

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association supports lowering the dropout rate and improving the graduation rate for students in Wyoming. Therefore, the Wyoming School Boards Association supports raising the public school mandatory attendance age to 18 or graduation, whichever comes first. It is recommended that homeschooled students be excluded.

Rationale: Reducing the dropout rate is the rationale behind the proposal to increase the compulsory attendance age to 18.

Submitted by
Sheridan County School District #2

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.5 Hathaway Success Curriculum

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association supports legislation to change the requirements of the Hathaway Scholarship performance and honors levels scholarships to require 4 years of language arts, 4 years of math, 4 years of science, and 3 years of social studies. Students would also be required to complete 2 sequenced courses of foreign language, OR 2 sequenced courses of Career Technical Education, OR 2 sequenced courses of Fine Arts, and have an ACT score of 21 or 25 (depending on the level of scholarship), OR a WorkKeys score as determined by the WDE that is relevant to the level of the Hathaway scholarship.

Rationale: The current Hathaway Scholarship program, at the performance and honors levels, requires students to complete the core requirements mentioned above, as well as 2 years of foreign language, AND 2 years of Career Technical Education, OR 2 Years of Fine Arts, OR two additional years of foreign language, and have an ACT score of 21 or 25 (depending on the level of scholarship). The proposed changes to the Hathaway requirements would allow students more flexibility in pursuing subject areas of interest and passion while still being eligible for the higher levels of the Hathaway scholarship. Secondly, by requiring a minimum of 3 years in a pathway it aligns with the recommendations of the Wyoming Accountability Advisory Committee. Lastly, with the impending budget changes, the changes to the Hathaway requirements would allow some flexibility to meet local needs, strategic planning, stakeholder input, and school board direction.

Submitted by
Fremont County School District #24

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm (Amended)

2019.6 Definition of Habitual Truant

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Board Association supports a change to state statute 21-4-101 that identifies a “habitual truant” student as a, “student whose attendance is adversely affecting their academic performance and their academic preparation.”

Rationale: School attendance is vital to a student’s academic success. The current definition of a habitual truant student is based on five (5) or more unexcused absences in any one (1) school year (W.S. 21-4-101). Even excused absences result in a student missing school. This new definition of a habitual truant student focuses on the needs and situation of individual students and will allow local school boards the legal authority to provide early intervention in a timely fashion.

Submitted by
Uinta County School District #1

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.8 Preserving Instructional Time and Practicing Fiscal Responsibility

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association (WSBA) continue to advocate for quality high school athletics and activities while seeking to preserve instructional time and practicing fiscal responsibility through scheduling of events. That the WSBA, through its representatives serving as Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) board members, seeks to collaborate with WHSAA to limit the impact of athletic and activity travel to the instructional day. That the Wyoming High School Activities Association require a fiscal note and quantify the impact to instruction as an addendum to WHSAA proposals.

Rationale: Activities and athletics are a valuable aspect of student education in Wyoming. These extracurricular activities encourage studentexcellence, demand dedication, and foster positive life skills. Wyoming school districts are financially impacted by WHSAA action including proposals to change WHSAA classifications of high schools, state and regional contest site selection, etc. In order to fully evaluate and advocate for Wyoming students, districts, and state’s interests, information about the financial impact, increased or decreased travel time, and other impacts must be made available.

Decreased school funding for activities is an issue that requires statewide effort and collaboration. School districts, WHSAA, WSBA, athletic directors and student advocates must have adequate, validated information about travel distances, overnight costs, and impacts to the educational day in order to seek solutions that will maintain quality programs while decreasing costs.

Submitted by
Park County School District #6

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.9 Student Financial Institutions (Mini-Banks)

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association support legislation to clearly and legally delineate the formation and operation of student financial institutions (Mini-Banks).

Rationale: Currently, student financial institutions (Mini-Banks) are operated in Wyoming schools under the auspices of other state and federal statutes. Wyoming statute does not specifically allow Wyoming chartered banks to offer student financial institutions. This lack of Wyoming statute does not offer banks that are chartered in Wyoming the same opportunities as banks chartered in neighboring states.

Student financial institutions have been shown to be an effective component of a broader financial literacy curriculum.

We respectfully request that the Wyoming State Legislature introduce legislation that specifically defines, and endorses the formation and operation of student financial institutions in Wyoming schools. I have included the Montana statute as a guide only as it calls out high schools only and we would include all schools.

Example:
32-1-115. Student financial institution defined-obligations of minor-applicability oflaws.
(1) The term “student financial institution” means a financial institution that:

(a) is operated as a high school education program;
(b) is adopted by a school district board of trustees;
(c) is advised by but not owned by one or more state-chartered or federally chartered financial institutions, limited to a state or national bank, a state or federal savings and loan association, a trust company, an investment company, or a state or federal credit union;
(d) is located on property owned by a high school district, as defined in 20-6-101, or a K-12 school district, as defined in 20-6-701;
(e) has as its customers only those students who are enrolled in the high school in which the institution is located; and
(f) has a written commitment from the school district board of trustees guaranteeing reimbursement of any depositor’s funds that are lost due to insolvency of the student financial institution.

(2) The funds of a student financial institution are not school district or public funds for the purposes of any state law governing the use or investment of school district or other public funds.

(3) To advise a student financial institution, a state-chartered bank, savings and loan association, trust company, investment company, or credit union shall provide written notice to the department of administration.

(4) With regard to the operation of a student financial institution, the obligations of a minor pertaining to borrowing money, cashing checks, and making deposits have the same force and effect as though they were the obligations of a person over the age of majority.

(5) Except as provided in 32-1-102, 32-1-402, and 32-3-106, a student financial institution established pursuant to this section is not subject to Title 32, chapters 1 through 3, or any other provision of state law that regulates banks, credit unions, other financial institutions, or currency exchanges

Submitted by
Johnson County School District #1

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.10 Out-of-State Teaching Experience

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association supports the recruitment and retention of high quality teachers in order to provide all Wyoming students with the best possible education outcomes. This requires recognition of any out of state experience the teacher may bring.

Rationale:Currently only in-state hires are able to be funded based on their years of service in the profession. Out of state applicants are not funded by the model commiserate with in-state applicants. Thus, districts are hindered by lack of funding to pay out of state applicants with experience. If a district brings in a teacher from out of state at a higher step than step 1, the model does not fund the difference. Thus, experienced teachers are not paid based on previous years of experience and are only paid at step 1 on the salary schedule. This inhibits the district’s ability to hire high quality, experienced professionals from across the country.

Submitted by
Teton County School District #1

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm

2019.13 Wyoming K-12 Education Funding Deficit White Paper

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wyoming School Boards Association would both support and advocate for the use of the December 28, 2016, “Wyoming K-12 Education Funding Deficit White Paper,” in reference to solving the school-funding crisis that currently exists. The paper identifies five areas/options to address the shortfall, which are as follows:

  1. Identify reductions or modifications to the current funding formula for Wyoming school districts and reductions to appropriations to state agencies from the School Foundation Program Account;
  2. Identify current savings that could be used to offset revenue shortfalls;
  3. Identify existing funding streams that could help offset revenue shortfalls;
  4. Identify spending policies that could help offset revenue shortfalls;
  5. Identify revenue enhancements that could offset revenue shortfalls.

Rationale: As a complex problem, the use of a complex solution is both necessary and prudent. No single approach will serve to stabilize the current funding, while also ensuring that future generations will not be slave to the erratic boom and bust cycles that threaten the progress of educating our youth. The White Paper addresses areas ranging from how revenue is generated, to how it is spent and saved to support Wyoming K-12 education. This paper serves as the best possible chance our state has to preserve and enhance school funding in a manner that will continue to support educating Wyoming students at a high level.

Submitted by
Park County School District #1

Delegate Assembly Action:
Affirm