The Wyoming Education Association is suing the State of Wyoming

WEA suing the State of Wyoming
WEA suing the State of Wyoming(Valeria Fugate)
Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) — According to the Wyoming Education Association, the State of Wyoming is getting served with a lawsuit for not upholding its constitutional duty.

And the association wants to make sure Wyoming students get equal access to quality education.

The group filing the lawsuit includes educators, parents and officials that are increasingly concerned about the State of Wyoming schools; now, they are taking legal action.

Thursday, the Wyoming Education Association filed a suit against the State of Wyoming, saying that state policymakers have violated the state constitution by failing to fund public schools adequately.

“Ultimately, our hope is that the funding model will be cost-based and paid for so that our students are able to obtain the quality education they deserve in the State of Wyoming,” said Grady Hutcherson, President of the Wyoming Education Association.

The suit brought by the association alleges that lack of funding means schools within the State are crumbling and aging. Security measures are underfunded, and so are teachers and staff.

“It literally requires the legislature to fund education, it is not an option, and the court has said in needs to be funded ahead of any other interests that are not of a similar constitutional magnitude,” said Patrick Hacker, Chief Legal Counsel- W.E.A.

In a news conference outside the state Capitol, lawyers for the W.E.A. said that the Wyoming constitution guarantees equal opportunity to provide thorough and proper instruction to the State’s youth.

“We created a system that is not for everyone, which not everyone thought was perfect, but everyone said they could live with. Unfortunately, they haven’t bothered to keep it up. And so we’re back where we were in about 2008,” said Hacker.

Members of the W.E.A. say they hope the suit will help bring supportive educational standards up in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Department of Education said, “the leadership team of the Wyoming Department of Education has not

The Wyoming Department of Education released a statement earlier Thursday, saying, “The leadership team at the Wyoming Department of Education has not yet had the opportunity to review the details of the lawsuit. Therefore we have no comment at this time.”

Gov. Mark Gordon also weighed in, saying.” Over the past few years, Wyoming has had to make record cuts to almost all services other than K-12 education. So it is unfortunate that this lawsuit comes at this time, especially considering that the work of the Governor’s education initiative- RIDE- is in full swing. It is his hope that this lawsuit will not distract from this important effort to determine exactly what it is that the Wyoming people want their education system to deliver- a key element of school funding.”

This is not the first time the State of Wyoming has been sued. The Wyoming Education Association said the State was sued by the Campbell County School District v. State from 1998 to 2008, alleging a lack of funding among local school districts, which did not satisfy the State’s obligation to provide equal educational opportunity under the Wyoming Constitution.