WEA Legislative Update | February 28, 2019
Early Literacy Screenings Mandated for Wyoming Classrooms - House Bill 297 Becomes Law
HB0297 - K-3 reading assessment and intervention program mandates that each school district select and implement a reading assessment and intervention program that screens for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties as early as possible in kindergarten through third grade. 

“We just caught lightning in a bottle,” says Senator Bill Landen of House Bill 297, “it was really a grand slam, a home run for K-3 reading.”

Districts will be required to implement "with fidelity an evidence-based intervention program." Each district will report to the Wyoming Department of Education annually on the progress toward each of its schools achieving the goal of 85% of students reading at grade level when they complete third grade.
Legislators and collaborators celebrate the signing of House Bill 297.
Pictured from right: Senator Bill Landen, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, Heather Fleming, Speaker of the House, Steve Harshman and Governor Mark Gordon at the signing of House Bill 297.
"This is one of the great stories of the session, and it’s what this session should be summed up with: You had men and women working, you had local input, you had both houses engaged. [They] got into the weeds, had robust discussions, and you get a great piece of legislation. That’s what this session, the 65th Legislature, was about: working together and getting good stuff done.”
- G overnor Mark Gordon on signing House Bill 297
Work of Education Attainment Executive Council Continues - Governor Gordon Signs Senate File 109
Pictured: Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow (center) with community college leaders at the signing of Senate File 109.
Wyoming's community colleges will work with the University of Wyoming, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and ENDOW to strategize education for Wyoming's future workforce. Per Senate File 109 , the Education Attainment Executive Council will develop both a five and ten-year plan to meet the needs of Wyoming's businesses and to reach educational attainment goals. 

The goals set forth are as follows:

  • By 2025, 67% of Wyoming's working population, aged 25-64, will possess a valuable postsecondary certificate or degree
  • By 2040, 82% of Wyoming's working population, aged 25-64, will possess a valuable postsecondary certificate or degree.

"The credit for this bill goes to many, and I couldn’t even begin to thank everyone," says Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow "But," Balow continues, "it’s really great that we have community colleges, UW and K-12 educators represented up here because that’s what post-secondary attainment is all about. The collaboration that we’ve formed informally, then through Executive Order and now codified by the Legislature is one that states work for years to achieve. We did it in a little over a year. It's wonderful work that we’ve done and wonderful work ahead of us. I’m really excited to continue collaboration with these folks." 
This is the final daily Legislative Update from the 2019 Session. Thank you for trusting the Wyoming Education Association to act as your voice at the legislature. Look for a full legislative summary and analysis in the upcoming edition of WEA News Magazine.
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