Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) manages two agency budgets; Agency 205 – Education School Finance and Agency 206 – Department of Education. With a biennial budget of slightly over $2 billion dollars, the WDE’s two year funding request is one of the largest in the executive branch of Wyoming government. Approximately 97% of the total budget is funding that flows to schools and other education providers for the purpose of public education of Wyoming children. The other 3% of education funding provides the financial resources necessary for administration and oversight of various state and federal programs that support the public education of Wyoming students.
Agency Background & Structure
The Constitution of the State of Wyoming places a special emphasis on public education in Article 7 and requires a “thorough and efficient system of public schools, adequate to the proper instruction of all youth of the state, between the ages of six and twenty-one years, free of charge…” In addition, the Wyoming Constitution delegates the general supervision of public schools to the State Superintendent who leads the WDE in executing its mission to Create Opportunities for Students to Keep Wyoming Strong.
The WDE exists to support over 93,000 students and approximately 17,000 education professionals including principals, teachers, instructional aides, transportation staff, and many others involved in public education across Wyoming. Under the leadership of the State Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent, the WDE has three main groups in its organizational structure; Policy, Academic, and Operations. Each group is administered by a Chief Officer and under each group are two divisions. The WDE organizational structure is designed as follows:
WDE Policy Group: The Policy Group is comprised of the Accountability and Standards and Assessment Divisions.
The Policy Group is responsible for the following state and federal programs: State Accountability, School Accreditation, Statewide System of Support, College and Career Readiness, Private School Licensing, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, GEAR UP Wyoming, and the Hathaway Scholarship Program.
WDE Academic Group: The Academic Group includes the School Support Division and the Special Education Program Division. The Academic Group is responsible for the following programs: federal grants under Title I, II, III, IV, and McKinney-Vento for At-Risk students, Career and Technical Education, School Nutrition, Distance and Virtual Education, Teacher and Leader Evaluation Systems, Special Education, and Student and Teacher Resources.
WDE Operations Group: The Operations Group includes the Finance and Information Management Divisions and Human Resources. The Operations Group has fiscal management responsibility over all state and federal funds for the agency including oversight of the Wyoming funding model for all public schools.
The Information Management Division is responsible for the collection and reporting of data required under various state and federal laws. The human resources manager is responsible for the recruitment, hiring, job classification, and WDE performance evaluation systems.
The Communications Division is the seventh Division in the WDE. It does not reside within any of the aforementioned groups and reports directly to the Deputy Superintendent. The Communications Team oversees internal and external communications for the WDE and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. They also provide communications and media support to the Wyoming State Board of Education.