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Upcoming Bills - Education Savings Accounts & Parental Rights in Education. Be-aware! Be informed.

LAC is the Legislative Action Committee of the RWSC, Republican Women of Sheridan County.

This is follow-up on the two bills in the LAC Action Alert sent two weeks ago. Both bills will proceed to the 2024 Legislative Session.

Education Savings Accounts (ESA) 24LSO-0052 Working Draft 0.6

LAC opposed this bill, but regrettably, it passed.

Sheridan County Senator Biteman summed up the bill well, as a “crap sandwich.”

  1. We supported the two ESA bills in the 2023 Legislative Session, which were killed by the Wyoming House Speaker and House Education Committee.

  2. Two substantial Amendments to improve the 24LSO-0052 bill failed. One to replace the bill with SF0143, which passed the Wyoming Senate in 2023. Also killed was an amendment to remove pre-K to a separate bill.

  3. An amendment to attempt to protect religious freedom for ESA providers passed. It is questionable if this can fully hold since testing for participating private schools is required.

  4. The bill grows government spending by adding more taxpayer funded 3 and 4-year-old students and by adding a large amount of administration with the bill. (No real tax reductions can occur with continual government expansion.)

  5. The bill puts participating private schools under the purview of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to certify them and gives rule-making authority beyond the wording of the bill.

Parental Rights in Education 24LSO-0076 Working Draft 0.6

LAC supported this bill even though it was weakened in the August Education Committee meeting by deleting the section prohibiting instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity to K-3. This bill was weakened further in the November 12th meeting and passed the committee.

  1. The bill no longer requires parental opt in (permission required or it is not allowed) for health or well-being questionnaires and screenings.

  2. Parents will be notified of any change in their child’s physical, mental, or emotional health; however, notification of a change in their child’s health services was removed.

  3. The committee discussed whether section “f” of the bill would provide a loophole for the school district to withhold information based on staff assessment of potential future abuse if the parent(s) were informed. No amendments deleting or improving section “f” passed.

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