Education Committee reviews Hathaway Scholarship

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State legislators reviewed future standards and funding options for the Hathaway Scholarship Monday. News 13’s Ray Bogan was at the Joint Education Interim Committee as legislators made decisions about the future of Wyoming’s state scholarship.

Governor Stanley Hathaway grew up on a homestead near Huntley. He went to law school, where he met his wife Bobby, and eventually opened a practice in Torrington. During his years as governor, Wyoming’s economy boomed and the permanent Mineral Trust Fund was established. Now eligible Wyoming high school students attending a Wyoming college receive a scholarship in their name. The interim committee will examine the scholarship and determine its' future.

Senator Bill Landen said, “The Hathaway Scholarship is critical. It's been one of the driving forces for the development of the curriculum and helping students understand what we expect out of them.”

Because of the reduced state revenues, the Hathaway Scholarship will be at least partially funded by reserves next year. But there isn't a reason to worry about the scholarship's funding yet.

The Hathaway Scholarship is well funded. We have a good endowment in place. Depending upon the conversations during this interim and going forward, if we begin to expand what we're doing with the Hathaway Fund, then we're probably going to have to talk about increasing that corpus,” said Senator Landen.

But success for Hathaway students is far from consistent. In Green River nearly sixty percent of Hathaway students took remedial or precollege classes in college this year. Casper was the lowest at 18 percent.

Dr. Jim Rose, Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission said, “We have work to do. If we have this significant portion of the population who are still being required to take precollege classes after leaving high school, we haven't done all we could do.”

There are four levels of the Hathaway Scholarship: provisional opportunity, opportunity, performance and honors. The honors Hathaway students are much more advanced than the provisional students. So there will be future discussion about the program's standards.

Rose said, “Do we need four scholarship levels? We should really be looking at this from the standpoint of, how do we serve all students?”

Legislators also reviewed changing the core curriculum requirements for the Hathaway scholarship.