Education is one of the most expensive government services and should be expected to provide some of the best returns on our investment. Unfortunately, discussions on improving education revolve around throwing more money at a system designed well before the information revolution. As we have seen during the COVID-19 crisis, alternative education solutions are readily available and convenient for many students. These out of the box solutions that use modern technology and innovative approaches can save money and provide more prosperous and diverse educational opportunities to different types of students.
Here in Wyoming, the challenges in education are unique and daunting. Our sparse population increases traditional education costs, and our razor-thin budget makes our current funding models more challenging. Wyoming should allow more real-world education, including earlier job training opportunities, flexible start times for schools, more extensive use of mobile information and computer devices, and alternative types of learning mediums. Asking students to take just one online class a semester reduces real costs by millions of dollars; choice in education for parents and students is essential to improving education performance and reducing the burden on the state budget and overworked educators.