Wyoming is a step closer to School Choice.

"Education savings accounts” using state funds for non-public-school expenses is a step closer to being considered this Wyoming legislative session.

The bill was advanced this past Wednesday in the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee.

This plan would allow Wyoming parents whose households of a certain income to qualify for expenses.

That money could be used for tuition, tutoring, after-school program fees, and travel expenses.

Speaker of the House Albert Sommers (R-Pinedale), brought the legislation forward.

In my opinion, what makes this bill really good is the fact that we bring in early childhood,” Sommers said at the committe meeting.

 

This bill would take $40 million from the general fund to create the account.

The money would be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students must be disenrolled from public schools.

But that does not mean that there won't be any statewide oversite.

Students will have to pass a statewide assessment or a nationally equivalent test.

The Wyoming Education Association supports school choice, but they worry that the bill is not consistent with our state constitution.

The intent of our state’s founding fathers are abundantly clear, given the numerous and explicit provisions within our constitution prohibiting taxpayer dollars flowing to private and parochial institutions, Mullen said.

 

A deeper dive into how this program would work and the concerns about it can be found at Wyofile. 

Another hurdle is that the Wyoming legislative branch will be in a budget session this year.

That makes it harder to pass something like this.

Wyoming alters every other year to pass budgets and passing laws.

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