- Associated Press - Saturday, August 19, 2017

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said he opposes tax increases and instead favors dipping into the state’s substantial reserve funds to help cover a looming shortfall in education funding.

Some lawmakers have argued against using the funds to shore up an education deficit that could reach $530 million over the two-year budget cycle that begins next year.

However, state revenues remain weak amid tough times in the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

Last winter, lawmakers trimmed more than $34 million in K-12 spending, and the school funding system is now undergoing a routine, top-to-bottom review.

The legislators’ approach is “OK,” but a broader plan to fix the problem would have been better, Mead told the Casper Star-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2wjERtc ) in a story Friday.

“It is not the grand solution I think many of us were hoping for,” he said. “It just didn’t get done.”

Some lawmakers have suggested the review can be used as a tool to trim schools’ budgets, but educators and other legislators have pushed back.

It’s a mistake to pin cost-cutting hopes on independent consultants whose mandate is to recommend the best education system, not solve the funding crisis, Mead said.


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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