Still a bad idea

Re: SCSD1 sports field

It was a bad idea a few years ago and it is still a bad idea. The Sheridan Press reported that the Sheridan County School District 1 Recreation District board wants to seed and fence a very small 2.7-acre plot of land just south of the Big Horn “Y” on busy Highway 335 for a mini sports field.

If successful this poor decision will place kids on foot and bikes on this dangerous 55 mph highway in order to participate in any activities. You may remember that there have been recent bicyclist deaths on Highway 335 due to distracted or impaired drivers. Is “texting” a word that might come to mind?

This ill-conceived idea is floated as a place for after-school activities but is miles from the school. The school district has ample space for fields next to the Big Horn schools which could be developed. If they say it would be too expensive I would say that it would be a better use of funds than the $460,000 they just spent to “remove” and replant a driveway and parking lot between the Tongue River Middle School and the administration building. What a waste of taxpayer money for our supposedly underfunded school district. By the way that stellar decision left only one way in and out of the middle school and elementary school complex. Sorry, I am digressing.

The misguided reason the school district is clinging to this property is to attract students to Big Horn from Sheridan schools. It is just a bus stop with an observed use daily of about three cars. What we have here is taxpayer money sitting in limbo. Stop wasting taxpayer money on this poorly thought out insanity. Sell the property and put the fields next to the schools where they belong and can be used more wisely.

Mark Porden



Crosshairs set on funding for educators, students

Re: State budget discussions

There is currently an attack on Wyoming educators and students in the form of budget cuts, and it is being fired from the chamber of our own Legislature. Parents, grandparents and students — take notice, contact your legislators now, share with them what you need, want and currently enjoy about your Wyoming public education — because those things are in jeopardy.

The legislative body has cut education funding by $70-plus million the last two years, and the Senate is currently proposing cuts totaling more than $130 million, even though the governor says no to massive education cuts.

Here are some of the illogical elements I don’t understand:

• Some legislators say our education is failing, not “getting the bang for the buck”; yet their solution to improve failing schools is to cut $200 million over three years?

• Researchers found our model to be fair and equitable, and even recommended $40-plus million more in funding; yet it is being ignored. Why?

• Our neighboring states fund education at a much lower level, and they envy our buildings, equipment, free education, salaries and academic rigor; yet some legislators say we need to stoop to their levels.

• A bill is proposed currently to amend the Wyoming constitution to prevent lawsuits against a government body that does not adequately fund its state education. What about separation of powers and checks and balances?

These are just a few of the illogical points. However, logic does dictate that with the deep, proposed cuts, we will drop to the level of our neighbors, and we will see the things they currently deal with like larger class sizes; fewer services for special education and transportation; pay to play sports; school fees; older school buildings and modular classrooms; fewer teachers and staff, leading to less help for students, while still holding high expectations on state testing; and physical education, art, music, technology and industrial arts are usually the first programs to get trimmed down.

Our state has the money — continue to invest it in our children!

Richard Welch



By |Mar. 6, 2018|

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