Jackson, Wy – The legislature is considering a new system for the regional cost of living index. Teton County officials are strongly opposed to this new index.
The state uses this index to distribute money to school districts for teacher salaries. It had used cost of living alone but based on a new study by a U-W economics professor the state would take many other factors into account.
Teton County superintendent of schools, Sandee Oehring, says if the legislature approves the new system her district will go to the courts. She says her big objection is that the study uses factors like proximity to national parks and major ski resorts to calculate how much money districts need to attract teachers. She says Teton County can attract teachers but can't retain them because it cannot pay enough. Oehring says the state should just continue using the current cost of living index. A legislative committee could vote on the system as soon as next week.