Jackson School Measure Moves Forward

Feb 13, 2019

Steve Friess discusses the Jackson Hole Classical Academy during a committee hearing.
Credit Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would override a Teton County decision to keep a private school from being built. The House Corporations and Political Subdivisions committee voted 6-3 to send the bill to the floor.

It would allow the Jackson Hole Classical Academy and other private schools to be built without interference from local zoning boards. Casper Attorney Jason Ochs told the committee that this will provide parents like him more choice.

"Choice is critical in choose how we're going to raise and educate our children. Senate File 49 provides ease of counties to implement additional schools, so be it private, that can provide for the gap fillers that the public schools sometimes can't," said Ochs.

But the County Commissioners Association strongly opposes the bill saying it's not about schools, it's about taking away land use responsibilities from counties. Natrona County Commissioner Rob Hendry said the bill could make schools unsafe. The bill heads to the House floor where Committee Chairman Tyler Lindholm admits "it has a high hill to climb."