Wyoming Education Association

Summer 2021

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1390700

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We believe that the data doesn't lie and that the majority of Wyoming voters value education. The WEA believes Wyoming citizens, when given a choice, will support Wyoming, and especially Wyoming education. To help educate our citizens and equip them with tools and encouragement to advocate for their values, WEA has launched the Value Wyoming campaign. You can learn more by visiting valuewyoming.org. Please sign up on this site to be added to a distribution list to receive information on issues impacting education legislation and upcoming events and opportunities to connect with Wyoming lawmakers to advocate for education. Having endured more than $100 million in cuts since 2017, the Wyoming education system simply cannot continue to do more with less. A further projected shortfall of more than $300 millio n over the next biennium guarantees that—without action—the students of 2024 will not be afforded the same educational opportunities as our students today. Recognizing this, the Wyoming Education Association uses the strong, unified voice of our membership and allies to advocate for minimizing cuts to education and mandating new revenue streams to support our schools. We value education because it's the ga teway to Wyoming's brightest future. Education is a value of Wyoming because it creates incalculable value for Wyoming. Please, stand up for your values and draw strength and comfort in knowing that your Association is standing with you. Ron Sniffin Executive Director, WEA rsniffin@wyoea.org (307)214-3389 E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R What are your values? Values define us. Values move people to action. Values drive our careers, our relationships, hobbies, and passions—they're the very core of who we are and what we do. Because you're educators, I know that each of you values serving others, you value your students, and you value creating the brightest future for Wyoming. Wyoming is facing a financial crisis, and i t's time to stand up to protect our values. For decades our citizens have relied on the mineral wealth of our state to fund our essential public services. Unfortunately, the extraction industry is volatile—fluctuating market demand for legacy energy sources is forcing Wyoming to reevaluate how we provide for our citizens. These are uncertain times. But, I can tell you one thing with certainty: you are not alone in valuing public education. The citizens of Wyoming highly value our schools. Since polling became popular decades ago, a variety of polls repeatedly show that Wyoming citizens want high-quality, equitable education for our students. The founding fathers of Wyoming valued education so much they wrote in the Wyoming constitution that it is a fundamental right, up there with freedom of speech and re ligion. Our state is at a crossroads. It's past time that Wyoming makes some difficult financial decisions. We have a choice to make—we either sacrifice the hard-built high-quality education system we've built for Wyoming students or create new revenue streams for Wyoming schools. WEA believes that all of you will stand up for your values. We believe that our members will have values-based discussions wit h your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues. F r o m t h e Ron Sniffin Executive Director, WEA rsniffin@wyoea.org | (307) 214-3389 In an effort to engage Wyoming citizens about the topic of education funding, WEA hosted a community dialogue in Powell on June 30th. More than 40 citizens, including five legislators, engaged in a conversation to discuss the future of Wyoming K-12 education. Participants discussed the importance of education and explored ideas about how to fund it. WEA hopes these conversations will inform the public about the issue and help Wyoming work together to create and embrace solutions to this crisis. W E A I S S T A R T I N G V A L U E S - B A S E D C O N V E R S A T I O N S 5

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