A Wyoming District Could Pay $100K To Open A School That Serves One Student

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A Wyoming school district could pay around $100,000 to re-open a school that would serve one student.

Albany County School District No. 1 plans to submit an application to the Wyoming Department of Education to re-open Cozy Hollow Elementary School so a kindergartener can attend class. Harsh weather conditions make it difficult and even impossible at times for the student to attend the nearest school, CNN reported Wednesday.

The state’s Department of Education Communications Director Michelle Panos told The Daily Caller News Foundation that “Wyoming law does not require the state to create small schools for students who live remotely, but it does allow it.”

The district’s business manager Ed Goetz said to TheDCNF over email that a teacher would be paid a minimum of $65,000 in salary and benefited, depending upon experience.

“There is a modular close to the ranch that was previously used for a school that will also house the teacher that we intend to re-open,” Goetz added.

Cozy Hollow operated over 10 years ago, but shut down when the area lacked students, CNN reported.

If reopened, Cozy Hollow will have two students once the kindergartener’s younger sibling becomes old enough. The estimated $100,000 would help pay for a teacher, operating costs, supplies and repairs.

Goetz said to TheDCNF that the Cozy Hollow school is not the first one-student school in the district.

“We currently have a one teacher school at Notch Peak which is north of the Cozy Hollow school on the other side of Reese Mountain and Split Peak, it’s a very rugged area with dirt roads that are not plowed in the winter,” Goetz said.

Cozy Hollow previously operated in one trailer while a teacher lived in another, according to The New York Times in 2004. Rebecca Rodgers, then 23 years old, was paid close to $26,000 and taught then-seventh grader Joe Kennedy.

At the time, Cozy Hollow did not have a biology lab, so Kennedy had to travel to another school to use its microscopes. This was a rare occasion for Kennedy, who described his “best friends” as cows.

Cozy Hollow is about 75 miles away from the city of Laramie in a car. (RELATED: Study: Kids Two And Under Watch More TV In 2014 Than In 1997)

Wyoming has the lowest recorded population in the U.S. with around 570,000 people.

The Wyoming Department of Education did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the proper Sleepy Hollow Elementary School’s mileage from Laramie, Wyoming, and that Wyoming allows — does not require — the creation of smaller schools for isolated students.

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