Governor's plan to allow the state to take over failing school
districts was defeated after facing strong opposition from groups
representing school boards and administrators.
Legislature also killed Governor's school-voucher proposals.
Lawmakers rejected the lone bill addressing school-finance
inequities that were ruled unconstitutional by state supreme
court last year. It would have set aside $30 million in
state-land funds to help districts whose tax bases do not allow
them to build new schools or remodel old ones. Education groups
criticized the plan as inadequate. Legislature is expected to
hold special session in the fall to rework the formula.
Lawmakers appropriated $420 million in lottery revenues,
earmarked for college scholarships, school technology, and
expansion of pre-kindergarten program to serve all 4-year-olds.
General-fund budget includes $12.8 million to hire technology
specialists in schools, new funds to expand
youth-apprenticeship programs, and money for alternative
programs to serve disruptive students.
Legislature approved planning grants for 10 charter
Also approved salary adjustment of 6 percent for teachers
and 5 percent for state-paid school-bus drivers and
Governor: Phil Batt (R)
FY 1996 state budget: $1.35 billion FY 1996 K-12
budget: $664 million FY 1995 K-12 budget: $620.5
Percent change K-12 budget: +7 percent
State sales-tax revenues will be used to generate about
$40 million in property-tax relief. Local
maintenance-and-operation levies will be reduced by
about 25 percent under the new law.
Legislature created a new department of juvenile
corrections to address juvenile-justice issues. It
also approved bill requiring the expulsion and
immediate suspension of any student caught carrying a
concealed weapon on school grounds.
Lawmakers approved $7 million for substance-abuse
programs in schools, using revenues generated by
new cigarette tax enacted last year.
Governor's proposed new $100 million testing
system was killed by Republican lawmakers. Key
components of the test will be included in the
current test, which will cost $24.8 million over
the next biennium.
Legislature appropriated $20 million for
technology grants, $12.5 million of which will
be given to schools to spend at their
School-discipline bill was approved that
makes it easier to suspend or expel a
student. Suspensions once limited to five
days can be increased to 10 days, and
teachers can bar students from their areas of
supervision for up to five days.
Safe-schools legislation was approved,
complying with federal law. Fines will be
assessed for crimes committed with weapons.
The proceeds will go the schools to be used
for purchasing metal detectors and other
safety equipment. The law would also allow
schools to adopt dress codes.
Legislature approved $64 million increase
in basic education funding to compensate
for student-enrollment increases.
Governor signed bill that will boost
retirement benefits for teachers by $30
million. The budget law also will
increase funding for school maintenance
Governor signed legislation that
requires law-enforcement officials to
notify local superintendents within
24 hours if students in their
districts are arrested for violent
Governor: Edward T. Schafer
FY 1995-97 state budget: $1.35
billion FY 1995-97 K-12 budget:
$500.6 million FY 1993-95 K-12
budget: $468.3 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.9
Governor signed a school-finance
measure that shifts some state
funding from property-wealthy
school districts to poor districts.
Law allocates $14.2 million from
the state's biennial budget
specifically for property-poor
districts. Of that, $2.2 million is
designated for a supplemental
equity fund that will be allocated
outside the state's basic-aid
Finance law also changes
special-education funding from a
system of reimbursing for
expenses incurred to one of
lump-sum payments to districts
based on enrollment.
Governor: Jim Geringer (R)
FY 1996 state budget: $490.4
million FY 1996 K-12 budget:
$256.9 million FY 1995 K-12
budget: $228.6 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
Legislature approved a
one-time, $4.7 million increase
for the state foundation fund
to cover escalating school
costs while state awaits
outcome of a school-equity
Over all, local districts
will not see any more money
than they did last year,
despite rise in the state
K-12 budget. Foundation
formula is designed to
increase the state allocation
to offset estimated decrease
in local contributions.
Fiscal 1996 figures are
estimates for the first
year of Wyoming's biennial