Governor Matt Mead will use the State’s emergency fund to pay the tuition of students living in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. Mammoth Hot Springs is inside Yellowstone National Park. Those students go to school in Gardiner, Montana. These students are Wyoming residents, but Mammoth Hot Springs is not part of a Wyoming school district.

For the past several years, the National Park Service has paid Gardiner to educate these students. The United States Solicitor General notified the Park Service that the Park Service cannot pay for these students. In February, the Park Service then notified Gardiner, Montana and Wyoming.

The Wyoming Attorney General and the Park County Attorney have worked closely together and have concluded all Wyoming children have a right to an education paid for by Wyoming.

Governor Mead said in a news release that the State of Wyoming will pay $497,722 to the school district in Gardiner, Montana. This is a slightly lower per-student amount than the school districts in Cody and Powell receive through the Wyoming funding model.

Governor Mead noted the extensive research done by Office of Attorney General. He said “our first obligation is to serve Wyoming’s school-age children, A second priority is to assure that the federal government fulfills any commitments it may have. The Attorney General’s research affirms the State of Wyoming has the responsibility to educate these students.”