Implementation | June 26, 2024

How Yes Founda⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on ⁠i⁠s help⁠i⁠ng Wyom⁠i⁠ng bu⁠i⁠ld a new educa⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on sav⁠i⁠ngs accoun⁠t⁠ program

In March, the Wyoming Legislature passed House Bill 166, which established the state’s first education savings account (ESA) program. The bill will empower families making up to 150% of the federal poverty level, or $46,000 annually for a family of four, with funds to choose how and where their kids should learn, based on their unique needs. Eligible expenses for the ESA include tuition, tutoring, curriculum, and more.

After a new education choice policy passes the state legislature – but before families can access it – a crucial process plays out: program implementation. That’s when yes. every kid. foundation. jumps in to help guide state agencies to ensure their program is easy to sign up for, easy to use, and meets the felt needs and desires of families.

Wyoming’s program is set to launch for the 2025-26 school year. In the meantime, the state Department of Education has been building the infrastructure that families and educators will use to participate in the new ESA program, within the parameters set by House Bill 166.

On June 12, Wyoming Department of Education Chief of Staff Dicky Shanor delivered testimony and took questions from the legislature’s Joint Education Committee regarding the future roll-out of the program to Wyoming families.

In his opening statement, he noted that yes. every kid. foundation. was there to provide his team with resources and guidance on how to get their ESA up and running smoothly for their customers: Wyoming families.

“One entity I want to point out is the yes. every kid. foundation., a national organization that supports these types of school choice initiatives and they’ve donated an enormous amount of time with expertise on how to start one of these programs – just very grateful for all the support they’ve provided us to help us get on the right foot with this work.”

– Dicky Shanor, Chief of Staff, Wyoming Department of Education

“We are grateful for Mr. Shanor’s kind comments,” said Alice Kerce, policy analyst with yes. every kid. foundation. “We are excited to continue to support WYDOE with all aspects of their program launch to best serve Wyoming families and kids.”

The Yes Foundation implementation team exists to guide state regulators in developing education choice programs that meet families’ needs, first and foremost. It’s also why the team has encapsulated its work into the ESA Implementation Roadmap, of which chapter 1 on student applications and chapter 2 on marketing and communications, are available today.

Click here for more information on Yes Foundation’s implementation work and to contact the team for guidance on crafting your state’s education freedom policy.