Re: Legislative proposals

Our Founding Fathers believed that public education was critical for democracy. Thomas Jefferson noted that education should be both public and equal for all citizens. Benjamin Franklin said that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. John Adams wrote, “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it.” Most Americans, especially those of us in rural America, are products of public schools. Public education has played an important role in the success of the United States. 

Currently, public education is in the cross-hairs in Cheyenne. Misguided bills cutting funding for vital education programs and staffing, taking away decision making from local school boards, stealing money from public schools to give to private institutions, and constitutional amendments removing the proper checks and balances so critical to our democracy are becoming near daily threats to our public schools. 

Sheridan County is blessed with three excellent public school districts that set the standard for what public education should be. By nearly every measure, our local public schools are excelling. None of us should be willing to accept anything but the best when it comes to helping our students achieve their goals. The current bills and proposals in the Legislature supported by, and in some cases sponsored by, members of our Sheridan County delegation are not demonstrating the level of support our public schools deserve. 

Indeed, an investment in public education is the investment that pays the best interest. We ask our Sheridan County delegation to stand up to the anti-public school ideology being pushed nationally by billionaire Republican Party donors and instead stand up for Sheridan’s excellent public schools. Before casting votes to cut funding for vital programming and staffing, we ask that our Sheridan County delegation spend a week in the classrooms of some of our excellent public school educators to better understand what they do, the challenges they face, and the difficulties of the job. Our teachers are our neighbors, they support our communities, and they prepare our youth for the future. We urge our legislative delegation to invest the time to fully appreciate our educational system. 

The Wyoming Democratic Party supports fully funded public education. It is in our party platform. But really, this is an issue that should transcend politics. 

Shannon Anderson

Sheridan County Democratic

Party Chair