Wyoming should set the standard thus producing the best schools in the nation. Parents and local school must play a major role in shaping that education.
A well-educated and well-trained work force is essential to providing a nurturing environment for existing businesses, attracting new ones and bringing capital investment to the state.
An adequately educated workforce is the backbone of a diversified economy.
Wyoming’s must foster broad training options that provide diverse skill sets for our labor force. To accomplish that goal, the state must offer a comprehensive curriculum starting pre-k through post-secondary training and college.
The state must offer support so that as many Wyoming students as possible graduate from high school, post-secondary training programs or college. Increasing post-secondary training and high school graduation rates will reduce poverty and the cost of social services.
Education budgets are cost based and tied to the number of students enrolled in each district. With the nature of Wyoming’s economy, school populations and therefore funding, can vary significantly from year-to-year, making it difficult to effectively budget even in good times.
In years when funding is cut across the board, districts with large decreases in the student populations can find it especially difficult to budget effectively and deliver a quality education to their students.
We are fortunate in Sheridan County because student enrollment has increased slightly or remained stable.
A more consistent funding system would help school boards and community college boards plan more effectively and deal with reduced funding levels.
Costs can be reduced in all areas of state government, and education is no different. Some non-essential programs can be reduced or eliminated and other areas such as transportation can be made more efficient. I believe school boards across the state are up to the challenge.
During these years of reduced funding, it would be a mistake to extend funding to privately run public schools and divert additional funds from what we know is one of the best school systems in the country.
In Sheridan County we have well-run high performing school districts with local control. Why degrade some of the best public school districts in the country to try new untested privately run systems?