The Issues

Wyoming is poised to lead the nation in education, and with the right leadership, we will! Deep in Wyoming’s DNA is independence and a tendency to think for ourselves. The COVID 19 pandemic, where the Cowboy State led the nation in the most in-person class time of any state in the Union is a great example of this. 

Wyoming schools can continue to take the lead by refusing the path that so many other schools in the country have taken.  We must refuse to let our kids become pawns of the social engineers who are hell-bent on grooming them into their relativistic value system. When we do this, we begin to lead the nation. 

Parents are fundamental to our schools.  While teachers play an undeniably crucial role, we must recognize that they are entrusted with the most precious asset Wyoming possesses: our kids, who return home each day to their parents. Parents supply the taxes that pay our teachers, we work for them, and should be accountable to them. 

If the rightful place of the local community schoolhouse is as an extension of and support for the home, then the rightful place of public servants is to remain ever-accountable to the heads of those homes. 

This means keeping our parents fully-informed and fully-engaged in the entire educational process. It also means parental responsibility – parents must step up and take responsibility for their kids.  

The idea that the schools must now not only teach kids, but also feed them and clothe them and counsel them and entertain them and teach them about sex, ad infinitum, is a move in the wrong direction.  

If parents relinquish control, a socialist-minded government will gladly step in and take over. As Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Brian will lead in putting parents as the owners of our schools.

We must protect and preserve local control and parental authority; there is no source of power more local than that which comes from parents. Therefore, we serve, and must listen closely to, the parents. 

As we assume our rightful place in this paradigm, the schools can assume theirs.  

If a child is struggling academically, parents should work with the school to address the issue. If the problem cannot be fixed inside the schoolhouse doors, the responsibility ultimately lies with the parent, not the school.  

Next to parenting, teaching is the most difficult job on earth. Dr. Thomas Sowell once said, “Teaching is the hardest job in the world if you care, and the easiest if you don’t.” 

In what other profession must one be an expert in math, English, history, science, government, vocabulary, reading, spelling and life in general? In what other profession must one effectively manage the diverse needs of a room full of students while at the same time artfully deliver a lesson on the causes of World War I? 

We must hail teachers as the unsung heroes that they are, and we must take good care of them.  Many are exhausted, others are disheartened, some are disillusioned, and in parts of our state and country, they are leaving the teaching profession by the droves.  This of course does not bode well for our students.

While we must hold our teachers accountable, we must also thank them, honor them, care for them, support them, equip them, empower them, and pay them well. 

In response to their own teacher shortage crisis, the Tennessee Department of Education targeted para-professionals, support staff, and teacher-apprenticeship students.  Academic coursework coupled with paid on-the-job training as an instructional aide working under a mentor teacher for two years, teacher apprentices were not only compensated for skills gained, but could potentially receive raises incrementally– all in less time than a traditional teacher education program but with more preparation inside the classroom.

With apprentice candidates able to earn a living wage without accruing any debt, and begin teaching with only two years of prior experience, this revolutionary paradigm shift not only answered the teacher shortage problem in Tennessee, but has actually given them a surplus of teachers – they are now blessed with a waiting list!

To recruit and retain the best and the brightest, we have to elevate them highly, propagate Brian as Superintendent.

The mission is clear: raising up a generation of young people who are well-grounded, culturally literate and career-ready.

Becoming well-educated is meaningless apart from virtue.  What good are job skills if our kids don’t have a strong work ethic? We must maintain rigor in the classroom in order to promote a strong work ethic and prepare our students for the next step- whether that step is in the direction of the University of Wyoming, the military, or any other career. 

We must bolster Wyoming’s already-impressive education and job training for our students. High school should be the transitional phase where students kick the training wheels and explore possibilities, where education and job-training both take place and both come together.

The purpose of education is to learn to think, and that all starts with learning how to read.

A literate populace is a liberated populace. The literacy of every child in every classroom in every school in every district in every county is foundational. This must be our standard, and we should not rest until it is met. Without literacy, our kids will lack access to information, communication, fellowship- everything.

Doing right by our students also means protecting the philosophical integrity of our classrooms.  Abraham Lincoln’s words have never been more relevant: “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation becomes the philosophy of government in the next.” 

We will lead the nation when we refuse to drink the Critical Race Theory, Marxist, indoctrination kool-aid. We must refuse Critical Race Theory as a new institutional orthodoxy and say no to the effort to deconstruct our racial and gender identities, ranking ourselves according to our “power and privilege.” 

We will lead the nation when we refuse to let painfully harmful ideologies plunge our kids into deep confusion and darkness. We must prioritize education over indoctrination

This does not mean that Wyoming students should not learn about our nation’s mistakes. Rather, our students must be unmistakably confronted with these truths and come away knowing that America’s founding ideals are what righted the ship every time, from 1776, to the 13th Amendment, to modernity. We must teach our students not what to think, but how to think. When we teach out students how to think, we empower them and set them up for lifelong success.

In order to put our parents first, their choices must be respected. Wyoming should pursue a voucher system in which our tax dollars follow our students, making all education choices affordable and attainable. As the saying goes, a rising tide will raise all ships. The more rigor in our education system, the better.

Parents are the boss. Parents pay the taxes that fund our schools and our teachers’ salaries. Parents raise, feed, and love the kids that attend Wyoming’s schools. Therefore, transparency in curriculum is essential. 

Parents should feel comfortable reaching out to our teachers and even spending time in our classrooms. Teachers, too, should feel comfortable and have cohesive relationships with parents. With transparency comes trust, and with trust comes quality education. 

Gender dysphoria is certainly real. It is also exceedingly rare, afflicting roughly 0.01% of the population.

Children who suffer from gender dysphoria must be treated with compassion and care. Compassion and care fundamentally require the involvement of parents. Many schools in our nation have taken the opposite approach, keeping secrets from parents and encouraging students to transition while at school. 

Teachers should not be asked to keep details as fundamental as these secret from their students’ parents. As professionals, teachers are qualified to do a lot: to teach math harmoniously alongside English, to accommodate science lessons to students with disabilities, to make every student feel heard. Teachers are not qualified, however, to counsel individuals suffering from gender dysphoria. 

As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brian will work to maintain and strengthen trust between students, parents, and teachers, all while ensuring each is supported in their proper role.

Wyoming has been blessed with abundant natural resources, and in turn, with ample funds for our public school system. In order to ensure that we lead the nation in education, we must properly prioritize how these funds are spent. As a former classroom teacher, Brian knows that the most impactful place to spend public funds is in the classroom.

In Summary

With our parents, it’s about remaining fully accountable to them by keeping them fully informed, fully engaged in, and fully responsible for the entire educational process.  With our teachers, it means elevating them highly, propagating them strategically and compensating them fairly.  And with our students, it’s about young people who are well-grounded, culturally-literate and career-ready.  That’s the goal, that’s the plan, that’s the vision.