The Wyoming Senate has voted to give teachers a pay increase. The external cost adjustment will be the first that teachers have received since 2009. Senator Stan Cooper says a lack of cost of living adjustments has caused problems for rural school districts who are trying to hire new teachers.
Glenrock Republican Jim Anderson adds that the energy boom in Converse County has driven up local rent and other costs. He says that has forced teachers to relocate.
"That is then contradictory to the efforts that we’re making in regard to achievement and accountability. The only way we are ever gonna get there in regard to the achievement standards and accountability standards, regardless of what we do here, is we gotta have good teachers."
Senate Education Chairman Hank Coe says school districts can address teacher pay issues right now. He says they get block grant funding which allows them to pick their spending priorities.
The pay hike was an amendment added to the supplemental budget. The House had previously passed a similar amendment.