Wyoming Faces $700 Million Education Budget Deficit

By Daarel Burnette II — December 13, 2016 1 min read

Wyoming officials are predicting they will have to cut $700 million out of the state’s education budget in the coming months after the coal and oil tax revenue the state is heavily dependent on tanked, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

In anticipation of the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers are proposing to increase class sizes and make dramatic changes to Wyoming’s funding formula.

“We’re going to have to look for a major new revenue stream,” Democratic Represenatitve John Freeman told the Eagle Tribune. “Whether it’s coming from savings into education or new fees or whatever, but I think we have to put everything on the table and look at the best for our students.”

The legislators have created a special committee to travel the state to find ways to cut from its education budget.

I wrote about Wyoming and several other states last year that are largely dependent on oil and coal revenue last year. Some states, such as Alaska, avoided raising taxes in hopes that oil revenue would rebound. But other states, Wyoming included now, are looking for more permanent fixes to avoid future deficits.

Already this year, several states, including North Dakota, are predicting budget deficits for the 2017-18 school year.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

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