Wyoming nonprofit works to provide parents educational choices and strengthen private schools
The state of Wyoming ranks last in the U.S. for school…
The state of Wyoming ranks last in the U.S. for school choice, with 95% of students in the state having no alternative to public education.
State Rep. Sue Wilson, a Republican representing Cheyenne and Laramie County, is working to change that – through a new organization focused on promoting religious and private education opportunities.
Wilson is the force behind the nonprofit ED307 – 307 is Wyoming’s sole area code – whose mission is to increase access to Christian education through funding and scholarships, as well as offer support, networking and training opportunities for private school staff and administrators.
After multiple attempts at passing legislation to create school choice scholarships or voucher programs, Wilson created the organization in partnership with the Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming. Nathan Winters, executive director of the Alliance, served with Wilson in the state legislature for several years.
“The overarching goal for ED307 is to strengthen private schools in Wyoming and help families access education options,” Wilson told The Lion. “Some parents need financial assistance, and existing and potential private schools need support. ED307 will work to address those needs.”
With a total population of around 600,000, Wyoming has approximately 30 Christian schools – most with enrollments of 50 students or less. Through ED307, Wilson hopes to create opportunities for at least 10 percent of Wyoming students to choose religious education – about 9,000 students.
Wilson has spent the last several months visiting Christian schools to introduce ED307 and its mission. The organization distributes a bimonthly newsletter to schools and stakeholders with topics relevant to Christian education. To receive the newsletter, email a sign-up request to email@example.com.
As it grows, ED307 will provide links to scholarship funds, opportunities for administrators and school boards to receive administrative, business and legal training, and networking opportunities for schools and students. The organization’s website is under development.
By summer 2023, Wilson plans to visit every Christian school, increase distribution and value-added offerings in the organization’s newsletter, and host a professional development event for Wyoming private school staff and leadership.
“I know this is God’s project because He’s asking me to do things out of my comfort zone,” said Wilson. “It may be a crazy dream, but where do I see ED307 in 10 years? I’d love to see every Christian school in the state double its capacity, and new schools established.
“We are a small state with a small population, but Christian schools here are blossoming.”