Wyoming Schools Begin Prep for Future Budget Cuts

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Fremont County School officials are preparing for more state budget cuts.

We talked with Shoshoni and Riverton’s Superintendents about the looming budget situation.

“The economy is struggling in Wyoming and education will be impacted by that,” said Superintendent Bruce Thoren.

Legislators are looking at cutting public education money will affect staffing.

Thoren continued, “We will be making quite a few cuts honestly through attrition we’ve got some teachers that won’t be back next year so we’ll be absorbing those positions and that will be the start of our saving.”

Superintendent Terry Snyder, “We don’t believe we can make enough cuts without some impact on staffing, but we will try to minimize that especially given the fact that we anticipate this is going to be an issue two, three, four more years.”

Superintendents don't want legislators to specify cuts for all schools instead, they want a percentage, and then every district can make their own cuts accordingly.

“I am lobbying for and most of the superintendents across Wyoming is for local control, give us a dollar amount, give us a percentage and let us decide how we can best meet the needs of our students,” shared Snder.

He continued, “We had a uniform voice for them from the perspective that we would like them whatever that cut has to be that percentage just to make that cut and allow us through our local needs, through our local strategic plans determine where those cuts are going to come from.”

For many school administrators it is time to dip into their rainy day funds to alleviate some of the losses.

“Name of the rainy day fund is very appropriate because it’s definitely raining right now in Wyoming and we think it’s going to rain for a while, we just hope we don’t get flooded and with good planning we believe we can get through this.”

Superintendents also said, no matter how much money gets cut, they won't let it affect the level of education every child receives.

Both superintendents said there won’t be a hiring freeze this year, but only essential positions will be replaced if there’s no one else who can take on the responsibilities.