It's official. Wyoming is adequate--or at least it adequately funds its public schools. The Cowboy State's Supreme Court ruled last week that the state's method of paying school districts is constitutional, thus putting an end to 14 years of judicial oversight of how primary-secondary education in Wyoming is financed. (Altogether, legal battles over education funding in the state have been raging for 35 years.) "Hopefully this brings that chapter in Wyoming history to a close," said Michael R. O'Donnell, a government lawyer. And he may have reason to be optimistic. After sundry victories in state courts, plaintiffs who sue to receive what they deem "adequate" funding for education have been dealt a string of setbacks, of which the Wyoming ruling is the latest. One senses mounting willingness on the part of judges to leave school funding decisions to elected officials rather than deciding arcane funding formulas from the bench. It's about time.
"State Supreme Court finds school finance system constitutional," by Bob Moen, Associated Press, January 8, 2007