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The joint education committee of the Wyoming legislature has proposed shifting $61 million that is now distributed evenly among school districts to the state's minimum-foundation program.

The money from interest earnings of the state's permanent land fund is currently distributed to districts based on enrollment. Under the proposed bill backed by the education panel this month, the money would go into the foundation program, which distributes funds based on several factors, including enrollment and number of school buildings.

For most districts, the shift would not result in an overall change in funding, although a few districts could lose money.

The purpose of the bill is to stabilize districts' revenue stream because the land-fund grants have varied widely from year to year and the state agency is better able to handle the fluctuations, officials said.

The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow student-initiated prayers in public schools and at school-sponsored events.

The bill passed this month on a 109-to-8 vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Late last year, a high school principal in Jackson was initially fired, then later suspended without pay for the remainder of the school year, for allowing students to read prayers over the school intercom.

Gov. Kirk Fordice, a vocal supporter of school prayer, had not seen the bill as of last week, according to John Arledge, a spokesman for the Governor, and has not yet issued a statement on the measure.

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