I was disheartened to read the news that our state legislators are all too eager to defund our schools.
On September 8, Seth Klamann chronicled the unhappiness and disappointment of certain legislators over their being handcuffed to school budget cuts prescribed by outside consultants. These legislators were not upset by the scale of the cuts; rather, they were mad they could not, it seems, cut more.
To these elected leaders, all Wyoming’s children — the flesh-and-blood future of the state — deserve is the absolute constitutional minimum: a minimally adequate education. They crassly hypothesized about funding schools only to allow for the “basics,” which, remarkably in the year 2020, they suggested was only reading, writing and math.
We should not accept this sorry state of legislative imagination, especially when it concerns families, children and the future of this great state. Instead of racing to the bottom, Wyoming and its leaders should be straining every legislative muscle to save our wonderful school system, the jobs of the phenomenal educators in that system and the great future this system and these educational professionals foster for the whole state.
Wyoming’s public education system is not another line item in the state budget. It is not a corporation measured by profits. It is the crown jewel of our collective action as citizens of Wyoming; an investment in and promise to our children.
We can and should marvel at the innumerable natural treasures of our magnificent state. But the greatest treasure that we create together as citizens is an educational system that supports children from all families, rich and poor, rural and urban, regardless of political affiliation, religious belief or any other measure. And we have succeeded in making that treasure real for so many Cowboys and Cowgirls.
If we’re going to keep riding for the brand, then we should not be so quick to put the future of that brand on the chopping block.
RYAN SEMERAND, Casper
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