Governor Mark Gordon called it the “elephant in the Capital”… that being funding for K-12 education in Wyoming.

The debate is whether to cut and how much, or… to tax and at what level.

District 40 State Representative Barry Crago summed up the school funding issue last week…

Robbing the rainy day fund is certainly an option but the Governor cautioned the legislature on the doing just that…

HB173 seeks to provide an answer to the $300 million deficit school funding by earmarking a 1% sales tax hike while also pulling savings from the rainy day funds.  And, it does seek a slight cut in school funding in the amount of $30 million.

The bill passed out of committee last week on a vote of 5-4 and will head to the floor once the “elephant” makes an appearance during the budget debate later this week.

If it passes the House, it’s likely not to be well-received in the Senate where SF143, now in the Senate Education Committee, provides for a school spending cut of $148 million over a three year period.

The debate over cuts versus tax increases will show how just how big the “elephant” really is.

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