Do your homework on the WEA

Submitted by Shane Legler
Posted 9/27/22

Dear Editor:

I am responding to the editorial from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that was run in our Powell paper on Sept. 22. It was the Eagle’s position that the lawsuit brought by the Wyoming …

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Do your homework on the WEA

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Dear Editor:

I am responding to the editorial from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that was run in our Powell paper on Sept. 22. It was the Eagle’s position that the lawsuit brought by the Wyoming Education Association against the state Legislature is justified and necessary and that all our school districts should join that lawsuit. They argue that the Legislature has not appropriated enough money to support education in the state. Although I have no doubt that our school districts could always find a use for more money, this lawsuit is wrong, and it should be condemned rather than celebrated.

Since this format is limited, I’ll only address a couple of my key concerns. Regarding the reason that our legislators have reduced K-12 funding, the editorial stated, “As is typical in a state whose residents are so adamantly opposed to tax increases, when tax revenue from oil and gas industry declined, the governor and lawmakers looked for places to cut spending. In their minds, it was perfectly acceptable to make K-12 education take its fair share of the pain.” Indeed, that is it. When revenue decreases, all departments must share in the pain. Unlike the federal government, Wyoming can’t print money.

Therefore, we only have what we have. If the budget is larger than income, cuts must be made. This is economy 101. Since their leadership is made up of educators, we would presume that the WEA knows this economic reality. However, their solution is that if cuts must be made, they are to be made somewhere else, or even better, the state should simply bring in more revenue. Well, where will that revenue come from in the face of decreased coal, oil, and gas tax revenue? It must come from those residents who are adamantly opposed to tax increases. Therefore, the WEA is not really suing the Wyoming Legislature. They are suing the incalcitrant, greedy Wyoming taxpayer who just won’t do their duty and cough up the funding. 

Perhaps I wouldn’t find this so egregious if it wasn’t for the fact that the WEA is simply the Wyoming branch of the National Education Association. One can go on opensecrets.org and find that the NEA gives a lot of money to the NEA Advocacy Fund. In the 2020 election cycle, that fund spent over $5 million to the benefit of federal candidates who favored the very policies that have robbed our state of its coal, oil, and gas tax revenue, and I’d eat my hat if that money wasn’t just the tip of the iceberg. Like other liberal organizations, the NEA wants to kill industry on the one hand and then pillage parents no longer employed by that industry, to pay the increased taxes they lobby for on the other hand.

Let me just say again, the NEA and the WEA are really the same group. The WEA claims to operate in the interest of Wyoming children, but other than suing those children’s taxpaying parents via the elected Legislature that represents their wishes, how does WEA seek to equip its members to care for the children of our state? Is it that they would seek to equip and train teachers to teach about serious economic principles or the fact that industry and its contributions to our state are represented and enshrined on our state seal? Is it that they would seek to bring up a generation of students capable of working to advance nuclear energy technology, the greenest and greatest source of energy available to us? Is it that they would educate our students on the potential revenue waiting to be brought into state coffers from the mining of rare earth elements necessary for modern life or the fact that oil, coal, and gas are still very necessary to run the modern world? Sadly, no. I encourage everyone to go to the WEA’s website and see for yourselves how they hope to equip the teachers who will be training your children at http://wyoea.org/safe-and-just-schools-cadre. 

Respectfully,

Shane Legler

Powell

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