Legislative Update – April 3
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on April 3, 2021. Friday, April 2, on third reading, the House passed 16 Senate files, including SF0127, Wyoming Learn While You Earn Program, which would allow community colleges to establish an earn-while-you-learn program in cooperation with businesses. This would allow a student to work for a business while earning credit towards a credential certificate in a specific trade.
During third reading, an amendment was brought to expand this program to include establishing an adult post-secondary education program. There is a real need in Wyoming to educate children who will go directly into the workforce out of high school, and also to educate adults who need retrained in a new field. I supported this bill.
SF0130, Charter Schools, begins a process to evaluate Wyoming’s current charter school statutes. Currently, all charter schools must be approved by the school district board where the charter school would reside. This bill would contemplate another authorizer, besides a school district board. I heavily amended the bill in the House Education Committee by requiring a vote of the people in the district before a new charter school could be authorized by an entity other than the school district board. The effective date of the bill is set out until 2022 and during this time the bill requires the Joint Education Committee to study charter schools.
I worry about the effects of charter schools on public education, but I supported the bill after it was amended because it has been over a decade since the Legislature studied the charter school issue.
The Legislature will resume work on April 6. We will then have only two days left to complete our work for the 2021 General Session. During the final two days, the House and Senate will be working out their differences on over a dozen bills. Every bill amended by the second body (that is, not the body of origin) must go through a process to resolve those differences. It may be as simple as concurrence by the body where the bill originated or as complicated as the formation of a conference committee to hammer out solutions between the House and Senate.
The work is winding down and the quantity of texts, calls and emails I receive is ebbing as well. I have been told that I missed a few emails and texts from constituents this session, and for that I apologize. Occasionally my inbox gets too full and I miss correspondence. I encourage you to keep trying, I do not ignore folks intentionally.
I can be reached at [email protected] with questions or comments.