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  • Writer's pictureSandy Newsome

Education Funding

The House debated education bills on Committee of the Whole this week. It passed a substitute version of HB0173 , School finance funding, on first reading. This bill incorporates a standing committee amendment. This bill proposes a solution to the $300M annual shortfall in K12 education funding. It diverts one third of a statutory flow of severance tax away from the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund (PWMTF) to the School Foundation Program (SFP). It diverts investment income off the PWMTF that would normally grow the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA) and sends it to the SFP instead. The bill also incorporates modest reductions to the K12 funding model, and as an insurance policy it institutes a one-cent sales tax when the LSRA drops below $650 million. Under current projections, the LSRA would not drop below $650 million until 2025. I supported this bill. We must solve our education shortfall through a constitutionally crafted solution, recognizing that every child in Wyoming has the right to an equal and adequate education.

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