https://betterwyo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/collaping-house.jpeg 600 752 BetterWyoming /wp-content/uploads/2020/07/A-Better-Wyoming_logo.png BetterWyoming2020-08-12 10:14:012020-10-09 13:26:39Wyoming lawmakers try to “recalibrate” school funding while the whole system collapses around us
The ho-hum, business-as-usual “recalibration” process to determine proper state education funding levels looks absurd in the face of a $500 million budget catastrophe.
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A veto by Governor Mark Gordon helped House education advocates fend off severe funding cuts pushed by the Senate throughout the Wyoming Legislature’s 2020 session. But they couldn’t stop them all.
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The Senate is proposing nearly $40 million less than the House for the state education budget, looking to cut funding for cost-of-living raises, transportation, discretionary funds, and compensation for National Board Certified teachers.
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A bill to cut transportation and discretionary funds would largely offset the “External cost adjustment” districts are set to receive to buoy teacher salaries.
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The House declined to hold an introductory vote on a proposed corporate income tax that would have generated tens of millions of dollars each year for Wyoming schools.
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The Wyoming Legislature is looking to increase education funding by $38 million so school districts can give teachers cost-of-living raises. Lawmakers aren’t doing it because they want to—they’re doing it because our state constitution demands it.
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Naysayers who don’t want to admit they support Walmart over Wyoming schools are using a bogus technical argument.
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Dwindling mineral revenues threaten Wyoming’s ability to provide costly special education services. Legislators can pursue federal Medicaid funds to help, like most states do. But they’re learning there’s no such thing as easy money.
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After three consecutive years of deep cuts to the Wyoming public education budget, the Legislature relented this session. But without stable sources of revenue, more school cuts are likely on the way.
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Gov. Mark Gordon allowed the bill to become law today without signing it. The debate over what Gordon called “flawed” legislation pitted “school choice” advocates against defenders of local control.
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The billionaire megadonor’s bill faces stiff opposition from the Wyoming County Commissioners Association. The commissioners argue that it would strip local control from all Wyoming counties in the process of helping Friess’ pet project.
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The practice of judging teachers by their students' standardized test scores has been criticized since it was adopted in Wyoming prior to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.