2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 62%
Wyoming has a weak charter school law where schools are controlled by districts.
Districts are the only charter school authorizers in Wyoming and they have created an environment where only four charter schools have been opened. Wyoming must liberalize their charter school sector and allow for multiple charter school authorizers in order to truly have innovative charter schools.
Wyoming earned a D on CER’s new charter school law rankings. While Wyoming does not have any charter caps the state’s score suffers from only allowing school districts to authorize, making it near impossible for successful charter schools to expand, having 0percent charter school growth, and not funding charter schools equitably.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 1995
- Number of charter schools: 4
- Estimated Charter Enrollment: 500 (0percent change from 2015-16)
- There is no cap on the number of charter schools that can be authorized
- Virtual Schools are permitted in Wyoming (though none exist)
- Schools are allowed to contract with CMOs and EMOs for management purposes
- Wyoming earned a three out of fifteen for authorizers. In Wyoming, the only entity that is able to authorize charter schools in Wyoming are public school districts whose decisions can then be appealed to the State Board of Education. Districts make bad authorizers because in authorizing charter schools, they are authorizing their competition. This means that they are very likely not to authorize schools that would represent real competition or regulate charter schools to the point where they cease to become truly innovative options for students.
- Wyoming earned eight out of fifteen points for growth. While Wyoming does not have a cap on the number of charter schools, the charter school sector in Wyoming has seen no growth in recent years. This means that no new opportunities have been provided for students. This is due both to the heavy regulatory environment surrounding charter schools and the fact that Wyoming does not make it easy for successful charter schools to expand through regulations.
- Wyoming earned an eight out of twenty for operations. In Wyoming charter schools rely on both the school district and the State Board of Education to waive any rules and regulations that could apply to charter schools. In order for charter schools to be effective, they need to be free to operate as they see fit, and regulations impede them of doing so. Additionally, Charter school teachers must be certified in the same manner that traditional public school teachers are. The sole effect of this policy is that it prevents individuals who have not gone through the bureaucratic measures of teacher certification from working with students even if the charter schools thinks they are the right individual for the job.
Wyoming earned a two out of fifteen for funding equity. Wyoming’s law states that charter schools are entitled to 100 percent of the foundation program funding amount computed under state law based “average daily membership” and 100 percent of the charter’s proportion of major maintenance payments. However, there is no way to hold districts accountable to this statute. The state has no legal authority over the local board and the distribution of funds to charter schools.
Online Learning Score: 72%
Over the past school year, three new single district blended learning programs were opened in Wyoming. Statewide, the Wyoming Department of Education estimates an increase of 21% of fully online students in 2012-13, and an increase of 68% of supplemental online enrollments. The total number of unique students participating in full- and part-time programs in Wyoming over the 2012-13 increased by 30% as well.
Teacher Quality Score: 65%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers F
Identifying Effective Teachers D+
Retaining Effective Teachers D
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D+