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Wyoming Leaders Commit to Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction and Intervention for Successful Reading Outcomes

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Updated on
Modified on June 10, 2024

In keeping with the state’s requirement for Wyoming lawmakers to ensure public school funding remains on pace with inflation, Wyoming’s Joint Appropriations Committee approved a $68 million annual payout for elementary and secondary schools to adjust for inflation in 2023. 

The inflationary payout was in addition to annual school funding of $1.6 billion for operational expenses. 

The legislation included a $30.3 million increase for instructional materials and a $25.2 million increase for professional staff. Matt Willmarth, Legislative Service Office senior school finance analyst, said the additional funding was also meant to bolster schools following the “COVID hangover” of expensive and unavailable supplies.

The funding was also earmarked for a renewed focus on literacy instruction and intervention in the state’s schools, coinciding with the Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) push for the use of evidence-based practices and materials to ensure students gain foundational reading skills. 

Explicit, Systematic, Evidence-Based Solutions for Wyoming Students

The WDE outlined its commitment to literacy in the 2023 Reading Assessment and Intervention Guidance document and stressed the importance of intervention and assessment to ensure all students learn to read: “Early identification and remediation of potential reading difficulties is the key to preventing reading failure and ensuring that all students are proficient readers by the end of third grade.”

To achieve this goal, the WDE recommended several evidence-based interventions and solutions that align with the state’s requirements, including:

These programs are aligned with Lexia® LETRS® Professional Learning.

For Wyoming educators, the additional funding and recommended solutions offer opportunities to enhance curriculum and teaching strategies ensuring the state’s third grade students gain true reading proficiency. 

However, there are strings attached and school leaders must know about the full requirements of the statewide literacy plan and enact policies, including:

  1. Screening and Intervention

    Screening and Intervention: School leaders must select and implement a reading assessment and intervention program administered to all K–3 students that:

    • Screens for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
    • Implements an evidence-based intervention program.
    • Includes progress monitoring and measuring of student reading progress and skills providing data to inform intervention.

  2. Assessment and Measurement

    Assessment and Measurement: School leaders must administer a curriculum-independent assessment designed to measure the likelihood of third grade reading proficiency, including:

    • Phonological awareness
    • Phonics
    • Decoding words and non-words
    • Oral reading fluency
    • Reading comprehension

  3. Annual Report to the WDE

    Annual Report to the WDE: School leaders must draft a report detailing the progress of each school toward achieving 85 percent of all students reading at grade level upon completion of third grade.
  4. Improvement Plan

    Improvement Plan: Each school not meeting the 85 percent goal must submit an improvement plan to the school district and WDE.

To learn more about how Voyager Sopris Learning solutions can help all Wyoming students achieve reading proficiency, visit