Wyo. Stat. § 21-2-202

§ 21-2-202. Duties of the state superintendent. [Effective July 1, 2023]

(a) In addition to any other duties assigned by law, the state superintendent shall:

(i) Make rules and regulations, consistent with this code, as may be necessary or desirable for the proper and effective administration of the state educational system and the statewide education accountability system pursuant to W.S. 21-2-204. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give the state superintendent rulemaking power in any area specifically entrusted to the state board;

(ii) Consult with and advise the state board, local school boards, local school administrators, teachers and interested citizens, and seek in every way to develop public support for a complete and uniform system of education for the citizens of this state;

(iii) Maintain adequate files and records of matters pertaining to the business of his office;

(iv) Enforce the provisions of this code and the administrative rules and regulations provided for in this code, in accordance with procedures provided by law;

(v) and (vi) Repealed by Laws 1994, ch. 17, § 2.

(vii) Assist the state board in the performance of its duties and responsibilities, including providing information to the board upon request;

(viii) Prepare and maintain a list of accredited schools in Wyoming;

(ix) Print and distribute to local boards of trustees, local school administrators and other persons and agencies within or without the state the school laws, regulations, forms, necessary reports of the state board, state committee, state superintendent and state department. The state superintendent may require the payment of reasonable costs of publication, handling and postage by persons or agencies outside the state requesting publications and shall deposit all payments into the general fund;

(x) Promulgate rules for the acceptance and disbursement of federal funds apportioned to the state for school lunch, milk and other commodities distribution programs. For purposes of these programs, the state superintendent may enter into agreements, employ personnel, direct disbursement of funds in accordance with federal law to be used by districts to operate the programs along with funds from gifts and the sale of school lunches or other commodities, assist in the training of personnel in the programs and accept gifts in connection with the programs. Districts shall maintain records and report to the state superintendent in accordance with rules promulgated under this paragraph, but accounts and records need not be preserved more than five (5) years. The state superintendent shall audit and conduct reviews and inspections of accounts, records and operations of programs to ensure effective administration and compliance with applicable law and rules. To the extent funds are available, the state superintendent shall conduct studies to determine methods to improve and expand school lunch programs and to promote nutritional education in the schools, including appraising nutritive benefits of school lunch programs. For school lunch program funds, the state superintendent shall utilize a revolving account with a balance of at least five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) to cover any operating expenditures incurred by the school lunch division of the department under 7 U.S.C. section 1431, the United States department of agriculture commodity program offered to the state and accepted by the participating schools and institutions. The schools and institutions shall be billed for their share pro rata of transportation and allied charges with the receipts to be used in replenishing the revolving account. If the United States department of agriculture removes all commodities from this program, the revolving account shall be discontinued and the balance shall be transferred to the general fund;

(xi) Repealed by Laws 1994, ch. 17, § 2.

(xii) Promulgate rules and provide a biennial plan and budget for the maintenance and operation of the Wyoming school for the deaf in Casper;

(xiii) Repealed by Laws 2000, ch. 73, § 3.

(xiv) For purposes of the statewide assessment of students and reporting student performance under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v), have authority to assess and collect student educational assessment data from school districts, community colleges and the University of Wyoming. All data shall be consolidated, combined and analyzed in accordance with W.S. 21-2-204(j) and shall be provided within a reasonable time in accordance with rules and regulations of the state board;

(xv) Repealed by Laws 1994, ch. 17, § 2.

(xvi) Assist the Wyoming professional teaching standards board in the performance of its duties and responsibilities under W.S. 21-2-801 and 21-2-802, including providing information to the board upon request;

(xvii) Include in the agency’s budget request:

(A) Recommendations to the governor for appropriations from the school foundation program account and for appropriations to the account necessary to fund payments to school districts as required by law; and

(B) Recommendations to the governor for appropriations from the foundation program for special programs.

(C) Repealed by Laws 2002, ch. 99, § 3.

(xviii) In accordance with W.S. 21-2-501 and 21-2-701(a)(ii) and subject to W.S. 21-2-304(a)(iii) and 21-9-101(c), promulgate rules to assure that each child with disabilities receives a free and appropriate education in accordance with his capabilities, including persons who are deaf, blind or have other physical disabilities which prevent them from reading in a normal manner;

(xix) Serve as the state agency to accept all federal funds for aid to education, except as provided in W.S. 21-2-307 and 21-2-601, and as the agency to administer or supervise the administration of any state plan established or federal funds subject to federal requirements. Each acceptance is restricted in its effect to the specific situation involved. The state superintendent may:

(A) Enter into an agreement with the proper federal agency to procure for the state the benefits of the federal statute;

(B) Establish a state plan, if required by the federal statute, to qualify the state for the benefits of the federal statute;

(C) Provide for reports to be made to the federal agency as may be required;

(D) Provide for reports to be made to the state department of education from local educational agencies receiving federal funds;

(E) Make surveys and studies in cooperation with other agencies to determine the needs of the state with respect to the application of federal funds;

(F) Establish standards to which agencies shall conform in receiving federal funds;

(G) Give technical advice and assistance to any local educational agency in connection with that agency obtaining federal funds;

(H) Take any other action as may be necessary to secure the benefits of the federal statute to the schools of this state. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as conferring any authority to the state superintendent with respect to the University of Wyoming or the various community colleges of the state;

(J) Repealed by Laws 2013, ch. 1, § 3.

(xx) In cooperation with the state board, the Wyoming community college commission, University of Wyoming, public service commission, department of transportation, department of enterprise technology services, public libraries, school district boards of trustees, classroom teachers and other appropriate groups identified by the superintendent, develop and implement a statewide education technology plan which shall address staff training, curriculum integration and network connectivity in and between schools, communities and between the state and the world, and which shall have as its goal the provision of equal access to educational instruction and information. The statewide technology education plan may include telecommunications services provided by the department of enterprise technology services pursuant to W.S. 9-2-2906(g);

(xxi) Establish and maintain a uniform statewide reporting system based upon requirements of the statewide education accountability system established under W.S. 21-2-204 and the statewide student assessment implemented by the state board under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v);

(xxii) In consultation with the department of environmental quality and school districts, establish guidelines for school districts for the proper and safe storage and disposal of toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances used by schools in educational programs;

(xxiii) Establish statewide guidelines for adequate special education staffing levels, to be used in assessing special education programs and services provided by school districts;

(xxiv) Monitor school district special education identification and service delivery practices, assess the appropriateness of district variations in services provided or the delivery of services and assist districts in developing alternatives to service delivery as necessary;

(xxv) Measure and track district special education programs based upon student performance and develop procedures to monitor student progress over time;

(xxvi) Establish criteria and guidelines for the identification of career and technical education courses by districts, for the computation of full-time equivalent (FTE) students participating in career and technical education courses and for the determination of full-time equivalent (FTE) career and technical education teachers, and provide for the annual collection of information necessary to implement and administer W.S. 21-13-309(m)(v)(D);

(xxvii) Develop a process and procedures necessary for consideration of district waivers from specified instructional and career and technical education program requirements specified under W.S. 21-13-309(m)(v)(D), including incentives encouraging teacher certification and program course sequencing compliance, subject to district submission of the following:

(A) Verification of the alignment of the proposed course or program with the state content and performance standards for career and technical education programs;

(B) Documentation of the additional costs associated with the proposed course or program including class size and specialized equipment needs; and

(C) If applicable, documentation of experiences and education of a noncertified teacher that would otherwise qualify the teacher to instruct the proposed course.

(xxviii) Establish necessary procedural and monitoring requirements for implementation of the career-technical education demonstration project grant program authorized under W.S. 21-12-105, including coordination with Wyoming post secondary education institutions and industry in developing program procedures and components;

(xxix) By rule and regulation, provide for the reporting of district career and technical education expenditures;

(xxx) Effective school year 2017-2018 and each school year thereafter, in consultation and coordination with local school districts, by rule and regulation establish a program of administering a standardized college entrance examination and a career readiness examination selected by the state superintendent to all students in the eleventh and twelfth grades throughout the state in accordance with this paragraph. The examinations selected by the state superintendent shall be administered throughout the United States and shall be relied upon by institutions of higher education. The college entrance examination shall at a minimum test in the areas of English, reading, writing and mathematics for all students in grade eleven (11). The career readiness examination shall be optional for all students in grade eleven (11) or twelve (12).The state superintendent shall pay all costs associated with administering the college entrance examination and the career readiness examination and shall schedule a day or days during which examinations shall be provided. The date or dates for statewide administration of the college entrance examination in grade eleven (11) and the career readiness examination shall be established by the state superintendent in a manner that best meets the needs of students and school districts. The state superintendent may enter into agreements with an administrator of the college entrance examination and the career readiness examination and adopt rules as necessary to ensure compliance with any requirements of an administrator, such as a secure environment. Alternate assessments and accommodations shall be offered by the state superintendent in accordance with rule and regulation;

(xxxi) By rule and regulation and in consultation with the state board of education and the Wyoming professional teaching standards board, provide guidance and oversight of virtual education. Courses taught pursuant to an agreement entered into under W.S. 21-13-330(m) or pursuant to W.S. 21-13-330(n) shall not be subject to this paragraph. The rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this paragraph shall meet the requirements of this paragraph by:

(A) Establishing, approving, facilitating and monitoring a state network of virtual education courses that meet state standards for course content and delivery by Wyoming certified teachers or postsecondary faculty who meet the requirements of W.S. 21-7-303(b). The state superintendent shall annually publish a course catalog identifying the courses available and the tuition to be assessed on a per course basis as established by the school district instructing the course;

(B) Providing training and technical assistance to school districts, including professional development for teachers and school administrators, for the delivery of virtual education. In consultation with the professional teaching standards board, the rules shall specify minimum professional development requirements for teachers utilizing virtual education methods to instruct students;

(C) Monitoring the design, content, delivery and the accreditation of virtual education programs provided by school districts under W.S. 21-13-330;

(D) Establishing a centralized learning management system districts may utilize to administer, document, track, report and deliver virtual education courses. The centralized learning management system established pursuant to this subparagraph shall be made available for the use of all public school districts in the state. Districts may choose to establish individual or independent learning management systems. The rules and regulations shall specify criteria and necessary components of individual school district learning management systems;

(E) Implementing a comprehensive reporting process as necessary for federal and state funding requirements and establishing necessary data collection instruments and systems to monitor and improve virtual education programs statewide. Reporting and data collection requirements shall, at a minimum, allow for the disaggregation of assessment data and other measures of academic performance of students attending full-time virtual education programs from students physically attending class in a school facility;

(F) Establishing an advisory committee consisting of not less than seven (7) members. The advisory committee shall have representatives from among Wyoming school districts and other state agencies involved in the delivery of virtual education or providing technological expertise related to virtual education. The advisory committee shall recommend modifications to rules, policies, practices and procedures and serve in an advisory capacity to school districts to improve the delivery of virtual education courses across the state.

(xxxii) By rule and regulation, establish requirements for school district policies and training regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in schools as required under W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxxi). The state superintendent shall review the policy of each district for compliance with the requirements of W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxxi) and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this paragraph. If the state superintendent determines that the policy is not in compliance under this paragraph the superintendent shall direct the board of trustees to revise the policy and shall, upon request, assist the board in the adoption of the policy;

(xxxiii) To assist local school districts in developing protocols under W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxxii) and in sufficient time to enable school districts to adopt and implement protocols commencing school year 2011-2012, develop model protocols for addressing risks associated with concussions and other head injuries resulting from athletic injuries. No district shall be required to adopt any part of the model protocols;

(xxxiv) With the department of enterprise technology services, establish criteria for the collection, storage, management and reporting of department of education data including, but not limited to teacher certification, statewide education accountability and assessment and the administration of the school finance system. In carrying out this paragraph, the state superintendent and the department of enterprise technology services shall develop a data privacy and security plan that includes:

(A) Guidelines for authorizing access to student data, including authentication of authorized access;

(B) Privacy compliance standards;

(C) Privacy and security audits;

(D) Breach planning, notification and procedures pertaining thereto;

(E) Data retention and disposition policies;

(F) Data security policies including electronic, physical and administrative safeguards such as data encryption and employee training;

(G) Routine and ongoing compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other privacy laws and policies;

(H) Prohibition of the sale or trade of student data to private entities or organizations;

(J) All personally identifiable student information being reported to the department of education or the department of enterprise technology by a student’s Wyoming student record identification and locator number as issued by the department of education; and

(K) Standards and protocols to remove personally identifiable information in order to provide for data collection and analysis without disclosing the identity of the student whose data is being collected and used.

(xxxv) Review and make available suitable materials for suicide prevention education as required for school district teachers and school administrators under W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxxiii);

(xxxvi) Commencing school year 2015-2016, in conjunction with the school district accreditation process required under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(ii) and as a component of the statewide education accountability system created under W.S. 21-2-204, conduct a review of each school district’s assessment system once every five (5) years to ensure alignment with the uniform state education standards promulgated by the state board, and to ensure district adherence to the uniform graduation standards prescribed by the state board under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(iii). Reviews undertaken pursuant to this paragraph, together with findings, shall be reported to the state board and any deficiencies determined by the review shall be addressed through the statewide system of support established under W.S. 21-2-204(h);

(xxxvii) In consultation with the department of enterprise technology, the department of audit and school districts, establish and maintain guidelines for school districts for the collection, access, privacy, security and use of student data by school districts. The guidelines shall, at a minimum, be in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and other relevant federal and state laws and include the following:

(A) Authorization and authentication mechanisms for accessing student data;

(B) Administrative, physical and logical security safeguards, including employee training and data encryption;

(C) Privacy and security compliance standards;

(D) Processes for identification of and response to data security incidents, including breach notification and mitigation procedures;

(E) Standards for retention and verified destruction of student data.

(xxxviii) When nonstate funds are received by the department of education that provide for one hundred percent (100%) of the cost, the state superintendent may hire the state school nurse as an at-will contract employee or may contract for nursing services to carry out the duties assigned under this paragraph. The state school nurse shall hold a Wyoming license as a registered nurse. The state school nurse shall:

(A) Identify professional development needs for Wyoming school nurses, with focus on caring for students with behavioral health needs and chronic diseases and make available training resources to meet the professional development needs identified;

(B) In consultation with the state health officer and the district boards of trustees, write or obtain standing orders for medication administration or treatment for students without a primary care physician who have urgent needs during the school day;

(C) Assist the superintendent in drafting recommendations for school district use to help facilitate care for behavioral health needs, enhance collaboration among school district personnel and community medical and behavioral health providers, and to prevent disease, substance abuse and bullying;

(D) Provide information to school nurses and school district boards of trustees on public health issues;

(E) In a manner to maintain student confidentiality, collect aggregated data from school districts on medical and behavioral health diagnoses, vision and hearing impairment, special education needs, and other nursing challenges that impact schools and students. The state superintendent, in consultation with the board of nursing, shall determine consistent, cost-effective outcomes that can be achieved through the requirements of the state school nurse as provided in this paragraph. The state superintendent shall use the data collected to determine progress toward and success of achieving the outcomes identified in this subparagraph. The state superintendent shall report annually to the joint education interim committee and the joint appropriations committee on the progress toward achieving the identified outcomes;

(F) In consultation with the board of nursing, develop best practice standards for school nursing;

(G) At the request of district boards of trustees, advise on the child sexual abuse education, prevention and response program under W.S. 21-3-133.

(xxxix) Solicit nonstate funds for costs associated with the position of the state school nurse;

(xl) Design and establish a Wyoming seal of biliteracy and an advanced distinction Wyoming seal of biliteracy for conferral by a school district to a graduating high school student who is proficient in English and one (1) or more world languages. The superintendent may establish a committee of language educators to identify or approve assessments and levels of proficiency on assessments as necessary to implement this paragraph. The superintendent shall develop policies as necessary regarding the use and appearance of the Wyoming seal of biliteracy and an advanced distinction Wyoming seal of biliteracy on student transcripts. “World language” as used in this paragraph means any language other than English and includes American Sign Language, also known as ASL, classical languages and indigenous languages.

(b) The state superintendent shall designate an employee of the department of education to serve as liaison to the state board through which requests for staff assistance shall be directed.

(c) In addition to subsection (a) of this section, the state superintendent may take appropriate administrative action with the state board as necessary, including but not limited to the changing of accreditation status, against any school district or state institution failing to comply with any applicable law or with the uniform educational program standards specified under W.S. 21-9-101 and 21-9-102 and the student content and performance standards prescribed by the state board.

(d) Any school district aggrieved by an act of the state superintendent may seek review in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

(e) In addition to paragraph (a)(i) of this section, the state superintendent shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the administration of the Wyoming education resource block grant model adopted by the Wyoming legislature as defined under W.S. 21-13-309, and governing the operation of the model in determining school district foundation program payments in accordance with chapter 13, article 3 of this title and other applicable law. The block grant model, as defined under W.S. 21-13-101(a)(xiv) and as maintained under this subsection, shall be made available for public inspection by the state superintendent in electronic format. Copies of the block grant model spreadsheets as administered under department rule and regulation shall be provided to school districts by the state superintendent for district use in district budgeting and in complying with mandatory financial reporting requirements imposed under W.S. 21-13-307(b) and by other provisions of law. To maintain the integrity of the block grant model, copies of the model and model spreadsheets made available under this subsection for public inspection and school district use shall be by protected version only, prohibiting the editing of model components, model data and model formulas. Following adoption of any recalibration of or modification to the block grant model by the Wyoming legislature, and prior to computing the foundation program amount for each school district under W.S. 21-13-309(p) and determining the amount to be distributed to a district under W.S. 21-13-311 or recaptured from a district subject to W.S. 21-13-102(b), the state superintendent shall certify to the legislature that the block grant model as enacted by the legislature is properly incorporated into the administration of the model for the appropriate school year of model application and is made available for public inspection. Technical corrections to model spreadsheets necessary for model administration between any session of the legislature shall be implemented by the state superintendent, shall be in accordance with procedures specified by rule and regulation filed with the secretary of state, shall be reported to the legislature together with the associated fiscal and technical impact of the correction, and shall be incorporated into the electronic version of the model available for public inspection. As used in this subsection, “technical corrections to model spreadsheets” means corrections necessary to ensure model operation and current school year district payments are in accordance with law and the model is properly computing school foundation program payments to school districts as required by law. Notwithstanding W.S. 16-3-114(c), no judicial review of rules promulgated and adopted under this subsection shall hold unlawful or set aside action of the state superintendent in promulgating or adopting rules unless the rules are by clear and convincing evidence, shown to exceed statutory authority.

(f) The state superintendent shall identify professional development needs for Wyoming schools and teachers, establish a plan to address the professional development needs, contract with necessary expertise to provide professional development to Wyoming certified teachers and conduct up to five (5) regional workshops each year providing the identified professional development needs.

(g) Paragraphs (a)(xxxviii) and (xxxix) of this section are repealed July 1, 2026.

(h) The state superintendent shall designate an employee of the department of education to serve as the liaison to the Wyoming charter school authorizing board through which requests for staff assistance shall be directed.