Current Senate Budget Bill Impacts Public Education
– General Government Appropriations, commonly known as the budget bill (the senate version) has gone through a number of iterations, and is now facing one more. This bill impacts K-12 and community college funding in a couple of ways:
the external cost adjustment, which keeps school funding at the constitutional amount, has been pulled from the budget bill and is set aside as a separate bill. That bill can be viewed
. It is hard to say what this means for the ECA or what the senate will do to the bill. The appropriation is still about ½ what it needs to be, but we are working to get that fixed in conference committee. WEA will keep you updated as information is available.
Community Colleges Impact:
A major hit on the senate side was the elimination of the governor’s recommendation to provide an additional $5.6 million to cover health insurance premiums. Since the house left the amount in the budget bill, it will be up to the conference committee to find a reasonable compromise. The bill also contained another $600,000 for the 60+ positions needed at the community college level to meet the goals of ENDOW and other economic development initiatives. The senate eliminated this appropriation as well. Again, conference committee will seek to strike a compromise.
WEA will keep a close eye on the budget; check back here for updates as the bill continues to move.
In the Senate today
Senate Education Committee
- Funding for the National Board Teacher Certification program. This bill was restored this morning in the Senate Education Committee when a House amendment was deleted. Originally as introduced,
, National board teacher certification was legislation to clean-up current statutes to reflect current practice. Some legislators used this bill as a way to reduce funding by limiting the amount of the stipend in the program, or the number of years NBTC teachers received the stipend.The Senate Education Committee restored funding by deleting the House amendment.
- K-2 foreign language requirement. A bill that would eliminate the requirement to provide K-2 foreign language in all districts failed in Committee 1-4. This bill would have changed the language from “shall,” to “may,” provide K-2 foreign language. Those supporting the legislation cite the difficulty in small districts to provide this instruction, while those opposed to the legislation cited the importance of equity among all school districts.
In the House today
In the floor:
– Teacher accountability – This bill was laid back until tomorrow. We expect to see an amendment soon.
– Education accountability – This bill passed second reading, amended.
– Virtual education amendments – This bill passed in the Committee of the Whole.
– Virtual education agreements – This bill passed on third reading.
– Common college transcripts – This bill passed on third reading.
– K-3 Reading assessments – This bill passed on third reading.
– Modernizing and balancing Wyoming’s school funding streams. This bill passed on third reading.
– School trust lands – studies. This bill passed on third reading.
– Wyoming’s tomorrow. This bill passed on third reading.
– School finance- external cost adjustment. This bill was referred to senate appropriations committee.
– General government appropriations -3. This bill was referred to senate appropriations.
These bills will be heard tonight in the House Education Committee:
– School district personnel definitions.
– Hathaway scholarship eligibility.
– School safety and security (if time allows).