Legislators and experts talk about kids and education

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 9:46 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - With Wyoming’s strong ties to our military, Legislators followed this up by ensuring all military families and kids are covered in their education and resources.

The Purple Star Schools bill received and passed its second reading in the Senate on Friday.

This bill would connect kids’ education from state to state. Keeping consistency when military kids move with their families.

”It doesn’t cost anything, its a voluntary program  for schools simply saying the statutory training work so that its clear that the department of education at the state level can help administer the program. But this is a fundamentally voluntary program that recognizes our school that go out of their way to help our miitary kid,” said Sen. Brian Boner, S.D.2.

Next, the Wyoming Charter school Authorizing board bill would create a specialized board that would modify the duties of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the requirements for the operation of these schools.

Lawmakers say there is a push from constituents to diversify education and choice.

”When you have school choice, you create more competition, and every school gets better, so the public schools want to  compete for the people so its the free enterprise,” said Rep. Scott Smith, H.D.5.

Finally, the School Finance Services bill in schools would provide mental health services to kinder through grade 12 public education students for two years.

Critics of the bill want to ensure that abortion or trans topics aren’t part of students’ counseling resources.

Experts say lawmakers are unnecessarily “politicizing” a much-needed resource.

”Its the principle of the thing. That the legislature is dictating the speech and the types of topics that can or can not be addressed by a mental health professional and have singled out abortion care as a possible area that’s inappropriate for discussion,” said Sharon Breitweiser, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Wyoming.

The Purple Star School bill has one more reading before heading toward the Governor’s desk.

The School Mental Health Resources bill has gotten through the house and is currently being heard by the Senate Education Committee.