The Wyoming Legislature's Joint Education committee is drafting two pieces of legislation that could significantly reduce the amount of money that school districts get through the school funding model.
One would raise the class sizes in the funding model, which would lead to the reduction of millions of dollars that currently flow to school districts. Sweetwater County School District two is based in Green River.
Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumu says that proposal would be the equivalent of eliminating 22 teachers in the District, which means that districts might not have enough money to pay for mandated services.
“And so my concern is that whenever you adjust class size and you choose one component of the model and you don’t recalibrate the entire model, it really has disastrous effects on school funding.”
The other proposal would be to adopt a model proposed by consultants that would substantially reduce funding in a number of ways. House Education Chairman David Northrup agrees that either bill would impact districts, the problem is that lawmakers are short roughly $300 million in order to pay for education.
“We needed to have something come out of our committee as far as a reduction of dollars in education, just because of that $300 million hole that we’re looking at every year.”
A group of education officials met with the governor this week in an effort to minimize budget cuts to K-12 schools.