Wyoming's Public Schools

Sub Neg 12815, Evanston Grade School, ca. 1925.jpg
Evanston Grade School, ca. 1925 (WSA Sub Neg 12815)

The importance of education in Wyoming was established by the First Territorial Assembly in 1869, which created a provision for the regulation and maintenance of education in the new territory. The Second Territorial Assembly in 1871 created the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (State Auditor ex-officio 1871-1873, State Librarian ex officio 1873-1890) as well as the County Superintendent of Schools and called for local taxes to support them.

See Changing patterns in the Public Schools by Dorris Sander for more on the history of education in Wyoming.

Around 19__, many of the school districts were reorganized. As transportation advanced, many of the smaller rural schools were combined, as were smaller secondary schools.

Between 1933 and 197_, the State Department of Education mandated an annual school district census. This yearly count enumerated all of the students ages 6-20 eligible to attend school within each district. The students' name, address, guardian, gender, age and disabilities were included. These lists were tallied to provide statistics about the number of students attending, their grade levels and how many were attending school outside of the district. They could also be used to ensure that compulsory education was enforced.

Currently, Wyoming's public schools are organized into districts within each county and are overseen by County Superintendents of Schools. There are currently 48 school districts throughout the state, with counties containing as few as one and as many as eight districts.

The Wyoming Department of Education, headed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, oversees the County Superintendents of Schools.