Beyond the Questionnaire: Understanding the Answers

Dr. Taylor Haynes 2014 Gubernatorial Republican Primary  Candidate

Dr. Taylor Haynes 2014 Gubernatorial Republican Primary Candidate

During campaign and election season, it can be easy to forget that candidates are people too.

They are going to make mistakes, we know that.

Wyoming Freedom in Education (WFE) is the only Wyoming based education group that asked candidates tough questions pertaining to educational freedom in Wyoming.  WFE will not endorse or support candidates, but we make sure we have, in writing,  a candidate’s position on education related issues in Wyoming, so you can make an educated, informed vote on August 19th.  


You can see a sample of a questionnaire that we would have given a grade of 100% here.

We regret to inform you that gubernatorial candidate Dr. Taylor Haynes missed two questions, and one of them was the most critical question on our questionnaire. Question #1:

“This legislative session there were two house bills presented to bring an end to Common Core Standards in Wyoming. Prior to the introduction vote, which one did you feel was strongest? Please Explain why. (Use additional paper if needed)”

Not only did Dr. Haynes choose HB97, he did not explain why, even though that was one of two questions that specifically asked for an explanation.

We had hoped that since completing our questionnaire Dr. Haynes had possibly looked further into the differences between the two bills, and realized that HB168 was the ONLY constitutional bill that would have stopped Common Core in Wyoming. 

So, representing the members of WFE, I approached Dr. Haynes during a Q&A time, on Saturday, July 12th, 2014 at the Wyoming Liberty Conference.

I asked Dr. Haynes why he choose HB97 (the bill that “had to be passed in order to fix it”) as the stronger bill.  

He said he had asked people “who knew more about this stuff than I do, current and former legislators.”  (AKA: Political insiders)  

He went on to say that HB97 allowed for more “parent involvement”, so I asked him if he was alluding to the bureaucracy that would be created when Governor appointed State Board of Education, would appoint an advisory board that would in turn appoint 9 different sub committees with at least 13 different people a piece.  

I then pointed out that these appointed people would not be accountable to the voters, and he (rightly) said “no appointed people are”. 

That is the problem. We don’t need more appointed people, and we most certainly do not need appointed people appointing people who will appoint even more people.

HB97 was similar to Indiana’s “anti-Common Core” bill, you might remember the headlines (from the John Birch Society and others) that said something like Indiana Replaces Common Core…with Common Core”… If the State Board of Education loves Common Core, who do you think they will appoint to the advisory board? And who do you think those people will appoint to the subcommittees?

We feel that Dr. Haynes sought out bad council. But it is not too late to steer him in the right direction.

You can contact Dr. Haynes and encourage him to review both bills as well as what happened in Indiana and by contrast look at Oklahoma’s recently passed bill that put an end to Common Core in Oklahoma without adding any bureaucracy. 

We need Wyoming’s leaders to take a stand firm against bureaucratic growth, and that is why we need you to contact Dr. Haynes immediately.  

You can read about why I testified against HB97 in committee here.

Dr. Haynes did later say that the State Board of Education needs to go, and full control needs to be given to local school districts, and that is something we agree with. (But then again, who would appoint all of those people as laid out in HB97?)

Following the back and forth about the bureaucracy created in HB97, Dr. Haynes then added that HB168 “didn’t stand a chance”.  

Rep. Allen Jaggi championed HB168 because it was the right thing to do. WFE backed HB168, because it was the right thing to do. It didn’t matter that HB168 didn’t “stand a chance”. We will continue to back legislation that stands on principle and is in full alignment with the Wyoming and US constitutions.

And should those principled, constitutional bills fail, WFE will be there to hold those elected lawmakers accountable. WFE is not here to play the inside, establishment, political game, we are here to fight for educational freedom and will settle for nothing less.

It saddens us that Dr. Haynes, who has such fire and passion is now parroting the same words we have heard time and time again from the establishment.

We need to win the fight against educational tyranny in Wyoming, and we cannot do that by adding bureaucracy.

We cannot win this fight by compromising, or by yielding to the powers that tell us that true educational freedom “doesn’t have a chance” in Wyoming.   

It is imperative that you contact Dr. Haynes today, and encourage him to turn a deaf ear to those that  supported a bill posing as an anti-Common Core bill, that mandated more bureaucracy, and would have only allowed for “repeal and replace”. (Common Core could come in as another name)  

Please urge Dr. Haynes to reevaluate his position on HB168 the ONLY bill that would have stopped and prevented any standards that did not originate in Wyoming.

Wyoming Freedom in Education exists only to maintain educational freedom and hold elected officials in Wyoming accountable, but we can only continue to do so with your support. If you haven’t already, please consider generously donating $250, $100, $50, $25, $10, or whatever you can afford today to help us win our fight against educational tyranny in Wyoming.

Educational freedom is worth fighting for, and we need to stand together and make sure those who represent or seek to represent us stand with us even when we don’t stand a chance.

“My orders are to fight;
Then if I bleed, or fail,
Or strongly win, what matters it?
God only doth prevail.
The Servant craveth naught, 
Except to serve with might.
I was not told to win or lose,
-My orders are to fight”

-Ethelwyn Wetherald