CLEARMONT — A resolution that could lead to legal action against the state made its way to Clearmont, though no action was taken to move forward.
The Sheridan County School District 3 board heard from Campbell County School District 1 Superintendent Dr. Boyd Brown Wednesday night concerning a resolution that would authorize legal action against the state to ensure education funding complies with the Wyoming Constitution.
The board went into a 20-minute executive session after hearing Brown’s presentation to discuss the resolution. No action was taken at Wednesday’s meeting, but SCSD3 Superintendent Charles Auzqui said it will continue to be examined by the board.
The resolution has been approved by other districts across the state. Sheridan County School District 1 approved a similar resolution at its Tuesday meeting. CCSD1 launched the initial resolution in March.
The resolution is not an official declaration of a lawsuit against the state nor does it guarantee a lawsuit will take place, but it allows the district to pursue legal action if it chooses.
“I think the idea is that if we don’t stand up for the students and provide a quality education, there’s nobody out there who is going to stand up for them,” Brown said.
Questions asked by board members included the costs to school districts if a lawsuit does come to fruition.
Brown said it’s tough to estimate an exact figure. In previous lawsuits against the state, the cost has been split between districts based on average daily membership.
However, he said, he doesn’t predict it would cost more than what schools have had to spend on external cost adjustments.
Brown added that there is no timeline as to when, or if, a lawsuit will be filed.
On April 3, educators and lawmakers discussed recalibration, a process typically done every five years determining what constitutes adequate education funding. Brown was pleased with the results of the recalibration meeting, and said that educators were included in the conversation.
“If we can continue to do that, I don’t see any need for litigation,” Brown said.
Auzqui said as recalibration discussions continue, the impact on small districts needs to be considered.
“We need to make sure it’s equitable across the board,” Auzqui said. “When we take a $200,000 hit to our budget, for a school our size, that’s not equitable.”