Two legislative committees this week shut down two proposed laws aimed at keeping obscenity out of public libraries and schools. Detractors said the best way to handle the issue was at the local level.
Citing constitutional concerns now that the school is under federal control, Wyoming lawmakers are on track to pull about $3 million in state funding from St. Stephen’s Indian School on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
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Sen. Lynn Hutchings said she sponsored the anti-CRT bill because factions through the nation are spreading “divisive and destructive,” instruction to young people in a way that undermines gains made by Black people in America.
State Sen. Cheri Steinmetz said the Senate is already “very receptive” to giving community colleges more money so there doesn’t need to be another mechanism for requesting public funds.
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The bill’s proponents said Teton County and some surrounding areas are in desperate need of extra money to retain teachers and other staff as the cost of living has skyrocketed in the region.
With only three school districts in Wyoming still allowing corporal punishment, Senate File 47 would allow civil or criminal action against any teachers and administrators who do use it.
A bill that would ensure all public schools and students across the state are on the same page about potentially life-changing apprenticeship programs has advanced from committee. Advocates told lawmakers apprenticeships are hit-or-miss for students, depending on what school district they attend.
Rep. Jeanette Ward says she drafted the bill to keep child-sexualizing books out of Wyoming schools, but the state’s preeminent First Amendment attorney says the proposed law likely wouldn’t hold up to a legal challenge
Wyoming legislators on Wednesday advanced a proposed law change requiring the state Superintendent of Public Instruction set statewide guidelines for public-school suspension and expulsion policies.
The Wyoming Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to urge Congress to tweak a regulation that caps some grazing leases at 10 years.
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From sucking them into a vacuum to smashing them with a hammer, first graders from Tongue River Elementary School in Ranchester, Wyoming told Cowboy State Daily their strategies for getting rid of spiders.
Chad Auer, Wyoming’s outgoing deputy superintendent of Public Instruction, says he’s fine with Degenfelder appointing her own Deputy and said warned that “partisan politics” can harm education.
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Campbell County Commissioner Rusty Bell said library board members Sage Bear and Chelsie Collier are part of an anti-LGBTQ group that is wreaking havoc and chaos in Gillette.
With the state flush with higher-than-budgeted-for revenues – and inflation adding millions to construction projects – the Wyoming Legislature’s Appropriations Committee is being asked to more than triple spending.
Jessica Kavitz, a kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary School in Buffalo, on Tuesday received the “Oscar of Teaching” – the Milken Educator Award for teacher excellence.
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After getting ridiculed by an outgoing Natrona County School Board member, an incoming board member stood her ground telling the woman that because of her support for two sexually graphic books that she was “supportive of the sexualization of children.”
The Natrona County School Board voted to keep the books “Gender Queer” and “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves” in the Kelly Walsh High School library but parents will have to let the school know that their children can have access to them.
A war of words between Park County School Board member Stefanie Bell and State Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams has escalated. Both have hired attorneys over remarks made at an event to stop the “sexualization” of children.
Wyoming legislators on Tuesday discussed opening up state lands to be used for affordable housing, commercial development like Walmarts, glamping, cell phone towers, and hosting adventure races.
Having a casino on state rather than reservation land would allow the tribe to seek a liquor license for the new establishment, which is something the tribe lacks in its current casinos.
The Park County School Board agreed with detractors that a book about a teenage boy who had his penis removed to create a vagina and then fell in love with another teenage boy isn’t pornography, but the board and challengers disagree on whether the book is appropriate for the Cody High School library.
Stating that adults are just as capable of bullying as students, Rep. Steve Harshman said his son, a high school football player, received a phone call from an adult who told him, “You should kill yourself; you’re the worst quarterback I’ve ever seen.”
If the repeal passes the entire Legislature in the upcoming session, school staffers who physically discipline children could face criminal charges.
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Wyoming lawmakers on Monday advanced two bills designed to increase funding for the state’s community colleges by categorizing internet classes in higher funding brackets and letting colleges make inflation adjustment requests.
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The Natrona County School Board met on Monday evening to discuss new policy options for sexually graphic books in school libraries. One school board member said the goal is to “ban sexually explicit images from school library materials”
Two of the newly-elected members of the Natrona County School Board said they specifically ran to remove the Casper high schools of the books “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves” and “Gender Queer.”
The Wyoming Education Association’s political action committee gave 96% of its candidate funding to Democratic candidates for the Wyoming Legislature, all of whom are challenging Republicans for state seats.
Police in Riverton say they favor arming public school teachers with proper training. Fremont County School District 25 met with the public on Wednesday to discuss the proposed policy.
While some communities have robust, active apprenticeship efforts for high school students, others don’t. The Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee is discussing a bill that would expand apprenticeship programs statewide.
Although the Teton County School District received a $200,000 grant from the EPA to purchase an electric school bus, they have to return the money because there’s nowhere to store it.
In a show of force, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder was joined by a host of Republican state lawmakers to rally against sexually explicit materials found in many Wyoming public school libraries.
Megan Degenfelder, the GOP nominee for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, publicly opposed two sexually graphic books in the Kelly Walsh High School library. She also said that they are an “inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.”
Mother of South High School student who felt uncomfortable with “probing” questions about transgender transitioning film in class frustrated with school’s response to her concerns the material and quiz were akin to “indoctrination.”
A Cody School District librarian has faced rebuke – but not apologized – for comments she made to Cowboy State Daily calling people in her community pushing to remove two books from district schools racist.
The Legislature’s Select Committee on Tribal Relations is trying to make a state law keeping American Indian children in tribal homes during foster-care situations, while the Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s leaders say the proposed law won’t work fast enough.
Saying he fears another abusive situation in a school without state oversight, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, announced Tuesday he doesn’t want to fund St. Stephen’s Indian School, whose top administrators were implicated in May in sexual and misconduct scandals.
Spearheaded by Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, a group of conservative activists vowed to fight sexually-graphic materials in school libraries, both at the Capitol and their home communities.
Sara Burlingame, a top LGBTQ advocate for Wyoming, says Cowboy State Daily coverage of a pair of controversial books in a Casper school library has been unfair, and society should exercise more care towards transgender-affirming literature.
Natrona County High School went into “lockout” mode Thursday morning after a report of guns at the school; two students were in police custody.
A contentious crowd at the Natrona County School Board meeting traded barbs, with one community member calling a substitute teacher a “pedophile” and others calling concerned parents book-banners.
Wyoming legislators are requesting a $70 million annual increase to Wyoming’s public school funding to adjust for inflation, after hearing that teachers may be harder to keep and attract to the state.
The Wyoming Education Association lambasted legislators on Monday for mandated curriculum changes, proposed budget cuts, the creation of new charter schools, and increased scrutiny of educators.
Graphic scenes in children’s books, like two in the library of a Wyoming high school, make minors more vulnerable to sex crimes, says a longtime investigator who now runs a nonprofit organization aimed at preventing and combating child sexual abuse.
Wyoming lawmakers disagree over how to handle books in Casper high school libraries like “Gender Queer” and “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves” which show graphic sex scenes, instruct readers how to make and access porn, and how to hire sex workers.
A spending mistake made by the Wyoming Department of Education means the federal government may revoke more than $9 million grant money from Wyoming.
Many Casper parents are upset that books that contain multiple nude and sex-act photographs, instructions for teens on where to find and how to shoot pornography, and graphic guides showing sexual acts are available in the Kelly Walsh High School library.
Explicit content: The following story and photos depict mature subject matter. Cowboy State Daily gently blurred nude images, but in the original books, both available at Kelly Walsh High School, the nude images are generally uncensored. Read at your own discretion.
The Campbell County School District Board of Trustees assured parents on Tuesday that there are no litter boxes in school bathrooms to accommodate students who identify as animals.
The top-scoring school districts on the annual WyTOPP test in Wyoming public schools are located in tiny communities while the largest communities did much worse.
Twenty-one states are suing the USDA stating they don’t believe its claims that the agency’s new gender-identity policies won’t affect bathrooms and pronouns.
Teachers in Sweetwater County do not need to fear state criminal prosecution for calling a student by their wrong pronoun, according to the county’s top prosecutor.
The state’s top five elected officials approved charter schools in Chugwater, Casper and Cheyenne Wednesday following a meeting where the public sparred about whether charter schools or public schools “indoctrinate” children politically.
The Sweetwater County School Board on Monday defended teachers’ ability to hide students’ transgender status from parents where “safety” concerns exist, despite heated inquiry from the father of a transgender student.
Despite launching a national transgender- and gay-rights policy change tied to federal meals funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has now pledged in court that it’s not trying to take away school lunch money, mandate alternate pronouns, or mix bathrooms and sports.
Advocates for proposed charter schools in Wyoming made their pitch on Tuesday to the state’s top five elected officials.
Wyoming Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis on Wednesday blasted President Biden for eliminating millions in student debt through executive order. “This is an insult to every American who played by the rules and worked hard to responsibly pay off their debt.”
Saying Wyoming lawmakers haven’t upheld a court mandate to provide an “unsurpassed” and equitable schools system, an educators group sued the state on Thursday.
Although Wyoming teachers appear to be better supported financially than most around the country, many still have to pay for school supplies out of their own pockets.
Thomas Kelly dropped out of the Wyoming superintendent of public instruction race on Monday, the Wyoming Republican Party announced late in the day.
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Twenty-two states last week sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture for imposing transgender-friendly guidance on the nation’s schools and state agencies, but Wyoming wasn’t one of the states suing.
With reports of President Biden getting ready to issue an executive order forgiving all student debt, U.S. Sens. Barrasso and Lummis are trying to pro-actively block it with “The Debt Cancellation Accountability Act.”
Even as school shootings across the country have increased, Wyoming schools have not yet started to require students to carry clear backpacks.
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A former University of Wyoming professor’s publications are being investigated for “data irregularities” and some are being retracted, according to UW officials.
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The USDA appears to be backing away from its earlier federal mandate which would have instituted sweeping gender-identity policies in public schools nationwide. Superintendent Brian Schroeder said it’s because of the national outcry.
Wyoming’s top elected officials approved a change Wednesday to the rules of a state board that could soon allow the creation of two new Wyoming charter schools focused on classical education.
While patriotism may be “out of style” in some areas of the country, it’s not in Wyoming. Especially in Cody, where patriotism is literally written into the policy books at Park County School District #6.
In the face of resistance from more than half the states in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday restated its demand for public schools to adopt policies friendly to new Biden administration created federal gender ideology.
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While Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder says Wyoming has the money and doesn’t need to comply with a federal mandate espousing gender ideology, Gov Mark Gordon is urging caution and said the issue should be studied.
The Cody High School football field is replacing its artificial turf this summer at a cost of $550,000. A little more than 1/3rd of public school football fields in Wyoming are artificial turf.
Riverton Middle School counselors defended the school’s decision to ban students from using mobile phones by saying the long-term effect of childhood smartphone dependence could worsen the very conditions that could lead to school shootings.
A ban on cell phones in classrooms at a Riverton school is being met with strong objections in the face of a recent rash of school shootings nationwide.
Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill joined forces with 25 other states Tuesday, demanding President Joe Biden withdraw a federal policy linking school lunch funds to gender ideology provisions.
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Rep. Chip Neiman said Wyo should take over school lunch funding now rather than bend to the federal government’s “social engineering” where Rep. Landon Brown said the state needs to exercise caution due to budgetary concerns.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder said until the State of Wyoming pays for federal school lunches, the department has little choice but to comply with gender ideology mandates.
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Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder on Friday said it was “disheartening and astounding” to learn of new federal mandate linking school lunch dollars to gender identity policies.
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Two Cody residents pushed to have the 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Color Purple” banned in the Cody School District. But the request, on Thursday night, was ultimately denied.
Wyoming school authorities are consulting with legal counsel in order to determine the state’s response to new federal gender-identity-friendly policies. The requirements are linked to millions of dollars in school meal funding.
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Despite a recent survey of Wyoming teachers showing most of them want to leave their jobs, a UW professor doesn’t think the outlook is quite so horrible.
The federal government last month tied about $90 million per year in Wyoming education funding to gender identity-friendly policies in schools, which, according to a federal judge, would include non-binary bathroom use.
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Wyoming residents, organizations and lawmakers remained divided over whether teachers should be allowed to carry guns in schools.
Former UW student Molly Wiesner may be facing more than $100,000 in student loan debt but doesn’t want loan forgiveness because she said she received something of value from her degrees and it’s her responsibility to pay the loan off.
In speaking with Cowboy State Daily at the Republican convention, all three candidates for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction agreed on one thing: parents need to have more authority in the classroom.
After the University of California decided to waive all tuition for American Indian students, the Shoshone Tribe asked the University of Wyoming for the same. UW agreed to discuss the issue.
Trustees for Park County School District No. 1 in Powell are considering raising teacher pay significantly, moving the district’s salaries from among the lowest in the state to among the highest.
Each of the three Republicans running for Superintendent of Public Instruction say they want to return American values to the classroom and to run the job with a conservative mindset.
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Wyoming will receive no coal lease bonus money to help fund its schools and their construction needs in the next two years, a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars compared to past budget cycles.
Trade schools both in Wyoming and nationally have seen a boom in enrollment after the pandemic struck.
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School officials announced on Friday that a Pinedale teacher was fired after being accused of trying to arrange a meeting with an underage boy in California. The teacher appeared in a child predator sting video released on YouTube on Wednesday.
Wyoming school district superintendent salaries averaged $141,358, about $25,000 more than the the Legislature recommended. The highest paid superintendent makes $210,000 in Teton County.
Megan Degenfelder, a former chief policy officer for the state Department of Education, announced she is running for the office to address problems caused by anti-American values in education and a silencing of the voices of parents.
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