School Board Candidate Responses

As part of our goal here at County 17 of informing voters for this year’s elections, we sent out unique questions for candidates in state, county, and city elections, to let you better know your candidates.

This week, we are posting answers from school board candidates. The general election is Nov. 6.

Wyoming spends significantly more per student than a number of surrounding states, yet achieves similar overall results. What do you see as the reason for this discrepancy between investment and results? (limit 500 words)

Linda Bricker

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Well, maybe you answered your own question here. Maybe it really isn’t about the money after all. Maybe it truly is because we have Spiritual laws in effect in our universe. Have you ever noticed families that have nothing in the way of money or things, and yet are the happiest people you’ve ever been around? Then there is the family who has wealth, been through marriages, step-kids, etc. and can’t seem to find anything to be thankful for. I think this scenario could be seen here. Maybe it isn’t about the dollar per student as much as the value of that student. Maybe we shouldn’t take so much store in the scores as we do the final outcome of our investment. If we were to desire to see kids in Gillette succeed morally and ethically we would see our kids experience more prosperity and peace of mind than you can imagine. That would, however, take teachers and coaches, etc. that were willing to ascribe to a new value system. That would mean dumping all agendas that tear down our kids, their families, and yes, our schools. I am a person who knows this will work as I personally advocate the truth of the Gospel first and foremost. If you have the guts to vote for radical changes in our schools, I will do everything I can to make this happen. If not, then we continue to get the same overall results we’ve been getting for some time now. I also think you will see even more people homeschool if changes aren’t made soon. Parents are tired of schools teaching hopeless agendas and losing their children to ideals they didn’t sign up for. I believe with my whole heart that scores would come, kids would graduate in high numbers, and suicide would not take our precious youth and young adults.

Doug Cox
(No photo provided.)
Wyoming has been fortunate to have the ability to offer students a lot more opportunity in their public k-12 school systems then most of our surrounding states due to our mineral royalties and a focus on funding education from the state level.  The reason it looks like we have similar results as other states is because we all teach the tested areas similarly.  These tested areas as important as they are don’t reflect what kind of overall education a student is getting.  That is where I believe Wyoming students stand out from those in our surrounding states.

David Foreman
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Joseph Lawrence
(No photo provided.)
I firmly believe that Wyoming takes a bad rap for this. Our state has a high rural population and therefore a lot of schools have markedly increased travel costs, smaller student to teacher ratios and guarantees for the best education we can give. If one were to compare us to comparable rural states, I believe that the finding would be that indeed Wyoming students perform at the same level or better than those to which we are compared. We need to continue to offer the best education we can with the resources we have.

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Also, in Wyoming special education and transportation add to per student . I am not sure but do not think they are covered at 100% rate in other states. Can the state consider reducing funding for these needed expenses?

Anne Ochs (2-year term)
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Larry Steiger

(No contact information on file.)

 

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at kevin@county17.com or 701-641-6603.