In his supplemental budget request, Governor Matt Mead asked for $15 million dollars to help school districts cover inflation. But lawmakers voted Thursday not to follow that recommendation.
Casper Representative Tim Stubson proposed the cut to the Joint Appropriations Committee. With it, the state would allocate just $6 million to cover school districts’ rising costs.
Districts haven’t had inflation figured into their funding in recent years. Campbell County School District Superintendent Boyd Brown says that’s deprived schools around the state of more than $150 million. He also says—the adjustments are required by Wyoming law.
“I’m a little mystified as to why they wouldn’t follow their own statute,” Brown says. “It’s about trying to keep up with the inflation rate in the state. There’s 90,000 K-12 students out there. We want to make sure they get access to a good quality education.”
The issue will come up again when the budget bill hits the floors of the House and Senate. Amendments are being drafted in both chambers to restore the inflation funding to the full amount.
“We won’t give up,” Brown says. “We’ll continue to work with our legislators. We’ll continue to feed them more information.”