Representative Timothy Hallinan is sponsoring a bill that would amend Wyoming’s Constitution to shift a portion of the revenues earned from the state’s mineral royalties away from the state’s Common School Permanent Land Fund and directly into public schools.
“On the surface, this bill provides for much-needed additional funding for Wyoming’s schools. In reality, this legislation is damaging to future generations of Wyoming students and only serves to compound the problem of education funding shortfalls in our state,” said WEA President Kathy Vetter.
If passed by the legislature and ratified by voters, the legislation would expire in six years. “As of today, public education advocates have been calling for diversified, stabilized funding for Wyoming’s schools for far longer than six years,” said President Vetter. “As Wyoming works to identify new sources of revenue for education funding, this legislation robs Wyoming’s students of the interest revenue generated by the Common School Permanent Land Fund. This bill seeks to slap a band-aid on the problem, without forcing Wyoming to innovate away from our over-reliance on revenues from the extraction industry. We cannot spend down our reserves over the next six years and remain no closer to a solution,” said Vetter, “the time to diversify Wyoming’s economy and identify additional, sustainable sources of revenue for our schools and students is now.”
Learn more about Hallinan's reasoning behind the proposed legislation in this recent article from the Casper Star Tribune: https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/bill-proposes-million-in-previously-untouchable-funding-for-education/article_fef9b83b-ba7c-5d5d-9223-13ce59b540e2.html
Read the legislation here: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020/HJ0001