Former President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder in his bid for the post.
Gov. Mark Gordon appointed Schroeder to the position in January after former Superintendent Jillian Balow left to take a similar position in Virginia. Now he is running for the job against four other candidates – three Republicans and one Democrat.
Another former Republican candidate, Thomas Kelly, dropped out of the race on Monday to vote for Schroeder.
“Brian is the only other candidate who really seems to appeal to the federal government’s attempts to influence Wyoming through monetary policy, and he has a better chance of winning than me,” Kelly told the Star-Tribune on Tuesday. “It made no sense to me to stay for my own personal ego.”
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Republican candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Thomas Kelly dropped out of the race to vote for incumbent Brian Schroeder.
Schroeder is the former principal of Veritas Academy, a private Christian school in Cody, and has experience as a family and youth coordinator and as a teacher and administrator at private schools in California, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming.
He is deeply conservative; he called on Wyoming to enact legislation similar to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which, among other things, “prohibits classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity at certain levels.” . He advocates for more parental control in public schools. He opposes the teaching of critical race theory (it is not currently taught in public schools in Wyoming).
In addition to Trump, Schroeder has also received endorsements from Gun Owners of America and Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen.
“Brian Schroeder sought Superintendent Arntzen’s endorsement and during their discussion he showed his commitment to partnering with her priorities as she strives to bring the focus of education back to basics” , a spokesperson for Arntzen said in an email Wednesday to the Star-Tribune. .
Community members heard from GOP candidates for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction at an election forum in Casper. Here are the candidates’ views on some of the issues.
Schroeder contacted Arntzen and the state superintendents of North Dakota, South Dakota, Florida and Texas about an update to the Food and Nutrition Service’s non-discrimination policy. USDA in May to include protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The update means that any organization that receives money from the Food and Nutrition Service, which includes Wyoming Public Schools, must “investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or orientation. gender” and “update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” the USDA statement read.
The update aims to give LGBTQ+ people a way to file a complaint if they are discriminated against by or within a Food Nutrition Service program, a USDA spokesperson previously told the Star-Tribune. .
The Wyoming schools chief suggested a federal update on non-discrimination on gender and sexual orientation would impact pronouns and locker rooms, as advice he received behind the scenes indicated opposite.
Schroeder denounced the update in several statements and called on Wyoming to reject federal funds for nutrition programs.
“We categorically reject gender ideology and will not bow to the coercive will of a tyrannical government,” he said in one of his statements.
Some teachers and organizations, including Wyoming Equality, the Wyoming Education Association and the ACLU of Wyoming, pushed back against Schroeder’s statements.
“Schools have a moral and legal duty to uphold the law and provide a safe learning environment for all students, and the penalties for discriminating against a student for being transgender are no different. penalties for any other type of sex discrimination,” Libby Skarin, campaigns director for the ACLU of Wyoming, said in a June statement.
Other Republican candidates in the race for superintendent are Megan Degenfelder, formerly a policy officer in the Department of Education and currently head of government and regulatory affairs for Morningstar Partners Oil & Gas, Casper-based substitute teacher and cosmetologist Jennifer Zerba and underground trona miner Robert White.
Degenfelder, a sixth-generation Wyomingite, was endorsed by former state superintendent Judy Catchpole. She wants to “empower parents as the number one voice in their children’s education,” increase direct classroom spending, improve K-3 literacy, and “combat anti- Americans”.
A former top official with the Wyoming Department of Education announced Thursday that she will be running for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Zerba said parents and teachers should work together to find alternatives if a parent disagrees with what their child is being taught. She is a proponent of maintaining and bringing more attention to the educational opportunities the state already has to offer and increasing financial transparency in schools.
White is the only candidate without a background in education, an attribute he says gives him more ability to think outside the box. He was previously a crew chief of an amphibious assault vehicle and a corporal in the Marine Corps. His top priority is school safety.
In addition to Schroeder, Trump has also endorsed another Wyoming candidate, land attorney Harriet Hageman, who is running against Rep. Liz Cheney for Wyoming’s only seat.
Primary elections end on August 16. After that, the winning Republican superintendent candidate will face the Democratic candidate in the general election. Sergio Maldonado, a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe who has served as a teacher, college administrator, and school board administrator in Arizona and Wyoming. He also served on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education under former President George HW Bush and as a Northern Arapaho Tribe Liaison under former Governor Matt Mead. Maldonado has been endorsed by the Wyoming Education Association.