Gillette representative’s education savings account bill advances to Wyoming Senate

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A bill to establish education saving accounts for certain Wyoming students is advancing through the state legislature and is now under review by the education committee in the Senate. 

House Bill 166 would provide up to $5,000 for families with qualifying income to help cover educational costs outside of public education. The funding would be provided based on a tiered income system to be used to pay for tuition, electronics, education software, extracurricular activities and other necessities, according to an update provided by Wyoming Rep. Ken Clouston (R-Gillette), the bill’s sponsor. 

The bill passed the Wyoming House this week 44–18 and has since been introduced into the Wyoming Senate, which subsequently referred the proposed legislation to its education committee for review on Feb. 27. 

“The bill gives families the choices they want and need to make the best decisions for their children and family,” Clouston said in a statement. “At the same time, I remain a strong advocate for Wyoming’s public education system, and I am incredibly proud of our school system.”

Clouston said the state’s public education system ranked fourth in the nation in 2022 during testing conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, marking it the best of all western states. 

House Bill 166 would allow Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder to set up the education savings account program in a practical and measured manner while maintaining the integrity of the state public education system, Clouston said. 

The bill would also provide education opportunities for 4-year-olds, according to Clouston, in recognition of the significance of pre-kindergarten education and the long-term benefits of programs for preschool children. 

“Please support this bill in your community, support Wyoming families, and give these families some of the education choices that they have been asking for,” Clouston said.

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