Bigger classes and less one-on-one attention are among the drawbacks of decreased school funding.
The church and state in Wyoming converge in the classroom with the passage of a new "voucher" program that gives public money to religious education.

SESSION RECAP: A school “voucher” program is unconstitutional in Wyoming. The Legislature created one anyway.

The Wyoming Constitution is stricter than other states’ when it comes to education funding and prohibits giving public funds to private or religious schools or individuals. The Legislature ignored these provisions in creating the new program, while Gov. Gordon slightly reined it in with a line-item veto.
Religious schools of all denominations will be able to receive taxpayer money under Wyoming's proposed "education savings account" program. (Image: Josh Reynolds for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Session preview: Wyo. lawmakers want to send taxpayer money to schools with no accountability

Public schools are overseen by boards elected by their communities. But more and more Wyoming legislators want to divert public education funding to “education savings accounts” that fund private, religious, and home school operations with no oversight or accountability—a model that has failed in other Western states.
Wyoming teachers have been leaving the profession at historic rates in part because their salaries have remained flat while the cost of living rises.

Session preview: Facing a lawsuit, Wyo. legislators look to increase teacher pay

Lawmakers are looking to reverse years of K-12 budget cuts in hopes of convincing the Wyoming Supreme Court to look kindly upon them in June, when the court will hear arguments in a lawsuit brought by the state teachers union and several school districts. A committee has proposed a $68 million funding increase aimed at providing teachers raises in hopes that the court will rule that they have met their constitutional obligation to properly fund schools.
Why should politicians care?! Preschoolers don't vote!

Why is getting support for public preschool in Wyoming like pulling teeth?

The benefits of preschool are clear, but middle-class and rural Wyoming families face huge hurdles enrolling their kids. Most states have public preschool, but not Wyoming—and trying to encourage lawmakers who are busy arguing over hot-button national issues to do something about it is an exercise in frustration and disappointment.
"No money of the state shall ever be given or appropriated to any sectarian or religious society or institution." — Wyoming Constitution

“Voucher” proposal would give Wyo. parents money to enroll children in private, religious schools

So-called “school vouchers” or “education savings accounts” hand over taxpayer money to parents who pull their kids out of public schools and instead enroll them in private, religious, or home schools. The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee will hear such a proposal this week, despite the fact that the Wyoming Constitution prohibits public money from being spent at religious institutions or given to schools that have zero oversight.
Childcare in Wyoming is both expensive and hard to come by.

Wyoming barriers: Young families struggle to find childcare

More than one third of Wyoming's population lives in a "childcare desert," and the cost for those who can find it can equal a second mortgage. While other states take steps to address this nationwide issue, Wyoming lawmakers drag their feet finding solutions.
We all pay more when students can't attend preschool

Wyoming barriers: The high cost of neglecting preschool

Early childhood education sets kids up for success. Children who go to preschool do better in K-12—requiring less help and driving down overall education costs—and they go on to earn more and require less government assistance. But two-thirds of Wyoming kids don’t attend preschool, and the state does not invest a dime in it, creating an early-life hurdle for many children that is both costly and difficult to overcome.
No public money will be paid to private religious schools and no librarians will be arrested ... for now.

Lawmakers defeat bills targeting Wyo. public schools and libraries

Proposals brought by the so-called "Freedom Caucus" to divert public money to private and religious schools and to criminalize librarians for "obscene" books have all failed this session.
Students perform a science experiment at Dean Morgan Junior High in Casper. Wyoming eighth-graders are consistently among the best in the nation at science (via Natrona County School District Instagram)

Wyoming students perform among the best in the nation. Will radical lawmakers ruin that?

National standardized tests show Wyoming fourth graders rank #1 nationwide in math, and our students perform far above average across subjects and grade levels. But the Wyoming Legislature, taken over by the far-right Freedom Caucus, is intent on cutting public teacher pay and promoting private religious schools. Will they wreck our K-12 system?
Do your local legislators make the grade?

Pass or Fail: Wyoming teachers union launches legislative scorecard

Sure, teachers and principals impact your kids’ education. But so do state legislators and the laws they pass. The Wyoming Education Association’s new scorecard grades state lawmakers according to their votes and informs the public about which bills shape K-12 education in the state.
Sometimes good things happen when adults screw up!

Wyo Senate scuttles education funding bill, sparing school cuts

In a last-day legislative surprise, lawmakers from the Wyoming House and Senate failed to agree on the details of a bill that would have dramatically cut public education funding. As a result of legislators’ failure to govern, K-12 schools will be spared budget cuts for now. But the structural problem of our education funding model remains.
Bigger classes and less one-on-one attention are among the drawbacks of decreased school funding.

Wyo Legislature looks to end fifth straight session with deep education cuts

The House and Senate have come up with two different versions of an education funding bill: One that cuts public school budgets, and another that cuts them even more. Lawmakers will end the session tomorrow debating which version will prevail.