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The Wyoming Legislature's Education Committee votes to support a slight funding increase for K-12 education

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The legislature's Joint Education Committee has given support to an increase in funding for school districts across the state.

The external cost adjustment provides a slightly over three percent increase to districts to deal with increased costs of supplies and utilities. Johnson County School District One Superintendent Charles Auzqui told the committee that districts don’t have enough money to deal with a variety of increases.

"Utilities are going up. The costs of providing quality professional development is going up. And another key topic that I want to bring up that's a huge issue for districts is cybersecurity," said Auzqui.

He said that involves both keeping student records safe and online classes secure.

The committee also voted to support providing districts around $25 million to address inflation for employees.

Cody Rep. Sandy Newsome said increased costs are becoming problematic.

"As we talked about, the increase in energy costs are happening to us at home. If you’ve been to the grocery store we are having inflation. The cost of housing in my community has gone through the roof," said Newsome. "So I think it's appropriate that we compensate our staff for the inflationary pressures they are feeling, that we're all feeling."

Casper Senator Charles Scott argued that districts can use money out of their block grant instead. The Joint Appropriations Committee will also debate the issue at an upcoming meeting.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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