As the Wyoming State Legislature starts to wind down, Education funding remains in question. The Legislature must address a 25 percent deficit in the school’s overall $1.5 billion budget. It is estimated Wyoming’s 48 school districts will face a $400 million shortfall in each of the coming two years.
One of two bills that address school funding died on Tuesday. The House of Representatives refused to hear Senate File 165, after it had passed a Senate Education Committee review and three reading process on the Senate Floor. The bill moved to the House Education Committee where it was heavily amended and moved on to the House Floor for consideration before it died for lack of consideration.
In the meantime, House Bill 236 has passed the House Education Committee and a three reading process on the House Floor. The Senate Education Committee also heavily amended that bill before it was moved to the Senate Floor. House Bill 236 has gone through two readings in the Senate and was amended each time. HB 236 calls for school recalibration, the process for school funding, to be initiated this summer. HB236 is scheduled for third reading today in the Senate.
If both bills fail, then there is still an Appropriations Committee cut of $25 million this year and $20 million the following year that will address the school funding deficit.
The 2017 Wyoming State Legislature is scheduled to conclude on Friday.