A quick visit to Wyoming, located on America’s largest and coldest Indian reservation, will convince you of the value of public schooling for kids. The state of Wyoming has long been a leader in public education, but recently has lost ground to a more progressive neighbor. Currently, thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia offer publicly funded schooling for children. Wyoming, which ranks sixth in per-pupil funding, is not among them. In fact, despite its impressive per-pupil allotment, Wyoming continues to rank near the bottom in terms of spending on education relative to other states.
The state’s largest city is Cheyenne. Like many smaller cities in the west, it is a boomtown teeming with visitors. Tourists come for baseball and golf, but also for nightlife, fine cuisine, and world class shopping. Along with these activities, Wyoming has become a hot spot for real estate. Real estate in Wyoming, especially around Cheyenne, has risen dramatically in the past decade. One might even call it an example of how money can be made in the state by building real estate.
Because of the state’s unique culture, especially during summertime, Wyoming residents have a love for outdoor recreation. Outdoor activities are often fun, but they also provide students with a healthy dose of exercise. Many public schools in Wyoming offer numerous physical education classes that students can participate in. In the mornings, gym class offers sports-based lessons in basketball, golf, swimming, tennis, and track and field. Afternoons offer hiking, biking, geocaching, and nature studies. And for afternoons, the school has several clubs, including science, drama, music, and debate, for students to participate in.
Outdoor enthusiasts are not the only group of students that enjoy public schools in Wyoming. There are many gifted students in the state’s schools as well. In fact, gifted and talented students are some of the most successful in the country. Some of the best public schools in Wyoming are located in the capital city of Cheyenne. According to research conducted by the National Educational Association, Cheyenne and Laramie are two of the top ten educational cities in the nation.
The University of Wyoming actually has a high placement rate among students from the state’s public schools. Other universities in the state include Laramie, Cody, and Kalispell. Students can pursue undergraduate degrees in business, law, education, nursing, or psychology. Students can also choose to major in a wide variety of math such as arithmetic, chemistry, computer science, and physics.
In addition to attending regular school in Wyoming, students can also choose to participate in some of the state’s after-school programs. For example, the Wyoming School Activities Association has a high achievement program that recognizes students who exhibit exceptional talents in sports, arts, science, and history. Other after-school programs offered by public schools in Wyoming include dance, drama, music, gymnastics, photography, art, physical education, and special education. Students who wish to participate in any of these activities may attend a meeting of the concerned organization, check out the program web site, or contact the school office.
As in other states, Wyoming public school districts provide several options for students who need extra support. The publicly funded private schools in the state are funded through the Home Loan Mortgage Modification Program, which waives some of the federal requirements for students so they may attend a private school. The state additionally offers tuition assistance for families who wish to send their children to private schools.
Private school tuition varies significantly, depending on tuition rates as well as the financial aid package your family is eligible for. While many Wyoming public schools offer tuition assistance, many families have to look at their individual budgets in order to afford the costs of tuition. Students should also take into consideration the quality of education that they will receive from their homeschooled counterparts. For those parents who are interested in home schooling but are not certain of their child’s progress or academic achievements, there are also private schools in Wyoming that are willing to work with parents to help students meet all their educational needs.