CASPER, Wyo. — A new Wyoming law will require the State Board of Education to establish a rule for the minimum required teacher-student contact time for grades K-12.
The law will allow that minimum amount of teacher-student contact time to be met either in-person in a traditional classroom or through virtual classrooms.
Governor Mark Gordon signed Senate File 115 on Monday, creating the new law which will take effect July 1, 2021.
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School districts will still have the ability to request alternative schedules that includes fewer than 175 days in a school year, but they will have to be able to meet the minimum teacher-student contact time under such alternative schedules.
When Senate File 115 was moving through the Senate, an amendment was adopted to the original language to require that students receive instruction during the minimum teacher-student contact time. However, the House of Representatives removed that phrase from the bill on a first reading amendment.
When the Senate initially passed the bill, it passed unanimously. The House then passed the bill on a third reading vote of 53-7 on March 30:
- Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BANKS, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, GREEAR, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, KINNER, BARLOW, KNAPP, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, PAXTON, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILLIAMS, WILSON, YIN, ZWONITZER
- Nays: FORTNER, GRAY, JENNINGS, NEIMAN, OTTMAN, STYVAR, WINTER
Because the House amended the bill, it returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote. That vote passed 29-0 on March 31:
- Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, CASE, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, ROTHFUSS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, SCOTT, STEINMETZ, WASSERBURGER
- Excused: PERKINS