Bill to unblock NGSS introduced in Wyoming

12.29.2014

Wyoming's House Bill 23 (PDF), introduced on December 23, 2014, would, if enacted, repeal the footnote in the law establishing the state budget for 2014-2016 that precludes the use of state funds "for any review or adoption" of the Next Generation Science Standards.

As NCSE previously reported, the treatment of climate change was cited as the reason for the footnote. The Wyoming state board of education subsequently declined to develop a new set of science standards independent of the NGSS. Despite the legislature's decision, local school districts are free to adopt the NGSS, and about fifteen (of forty-eight) have reportedly done so.

Before the bill was introduced, John Patton (R-District 29) told the Casper Star-Tribune (December 15, 2014), "What the bill does is pretty straight forward and simple ... It simply removes Footnote No. 3 in the appropriations bill. It means the State Board of Education can continue with its work uninterrupted by the Legislature." He was optimistic about the prospect for the bill's passage.

Joining Patton as sponsors of HB 23 are, in the House of Representatives, Rosie Berger (R-District 51), Kermit Brown (R-District 14), and John Freeman (D-District 60), and, in the Senate, J. D. Anderson (D-District 2) and Chris Rothfuss (D-District 9).