Wyoming Senators move forward with education cuts

CHEYENNE, Wy.(KGWN)- The Wyoming Senate is moving 2 measures forward that could mean even deeper cuts for education across the state.

Senate Joint Resolution 3 would change the state constitution to allow for these cuts to happen.

Senate File 117 looks to “recalibrate” school finances. Despite recent recommendations to spend an additional $70 million on education funding, this plan would decrease spending by $76.2 million over the next two years.

SF117 largely takes cuts from workers compensation, health insurance, retirement, co-located schools, class sizes, cash reserves and groundskeepers.

Both measures passed a third reading on the Senate Floor on Tuesday with some amendments.

However not all Senators are on board for more cuts. Albany County Senator Rothfuss says that we can’t continue to upkeep our great education system with more cuts. Rothfuss went on to say that if these cuts were implemented the state could simply loose a lawsuit next year.

Ken Decaria of the Wyoming School Boards Associations says that if this is approved the cuts would result in 1,500 public school job losses. In addition to the nearly 600 jobs that have been lost in the state because of the cuts over the past two years. He also says that he is tired of hearing how much Wyoming spends on education compared to neighboring states. Decaria says Wyoming spends more on things like transportation and healthcare.

Both measures move on to a third and final reading in the Senate before heading to the House, where they could face a battle moving forward. Earlier this session the House didn’t even introduce a bill that would make changes to the block grant model like SF117 is doing. However that bill HB180 would have cut much more with nearly $140 million over the next 2 years.