Senate Debates Changing The Way School Buildings Are Paid For

Mar 17, 2021

Credit sheridanwyoming.com

The Wyoming Senate is debating a proposed constitutional amendment that would take the funding of school buildings out of the hands of the state and return it to local districts.

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that the state needs to pay for school buildings and upkeep.

Casper Senator Charles Scott wants to change the constitution so that local districts would pay for their buildings. He said they could pass a bond issue, but the state would have to equalize funding.

Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis liked the proposal. She said as the state faces financial difficulties, she worried that legislators may postpone school construction.

"Despite the fact that Laramie 1, the district that I represent, projects growth and sees growth on the horizon, we have no way to proactively plan for that as a community," said Ellis. "Instead we have to wait for those families to show up and we have to wait for the state to act. What if it doesn't?"

Ellis said the solution is for local districts to be allowed to address their needs. The proposed constitutional amendment would have to be approved by voters. The issue will be debated by the Senate two more times.