Committee approves education funding boost

Friday, November 01, 2019

Lawmakers voted narrowly Tuesday to approve a recommendation that Wyoming’s public school system be given a $19 million bump and that the recommendation be sent to Gov. Mark Gordon and the broader Legislature.

The funding increase comes in the form of an external cost adjustment, which is essentially an inflation increase. The Joint Education Committee approved the recommendation last month and forwarded it to the Joint Appropriations Committee, which oversees Wyoming’s purse strings. Lawmakers in that committee voted Tuesday to approve and forward the recommendation, which — supporters argued — was vital to keeping Wyoming’s education system within constitutional bounds.

“We’re constitutionally mandated to do it,” said Rep. Bob Nicholas, a Cheyenne Republican and the co-chair of the Appropriations Committee. “Either we amend the constitution, or we find new funding model. (Approving the ECA is) not only the right thing to do, but the legal thing to do.”

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