Gordon: Current School Funding Model Not Sustainable
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Tuesday said Wyoming's current school funding model is ''no longer sustainable."
But he also said the relationship between the amount of money spent on schools and the quality of education is not clear either. He made the comments during his ''State of the State" address Tuesday morning in Cheyenne.
Gordon, addressing lawmakers and citizens at the start of the reconvened 2021 session of the Wyoming Legislature, applauded state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill, and state employees for helping to lead the state through the COVID-19 pandemic, although he noted the "virus is still with us."
But he said Wyoming has done a far better job than most of the country of fighting the coronavirus while remaining open for business.
But the Republican governor said the federal energy policies instituted by the Biden Administration are presenting some big challenges for Wyoming's economy. ''We're facing a clear and present threat to our long-term core industries'' Gordon said.
''All decisions from D.C. must now pass a superficial climate litmus test that ignores jobs. costs, reliability, and in many cases, real climate solutions." He went on to say a "crazed pursuit of green energy......fantasizes that crippling our own nation is somehow good for our world."
On the subject of school funding, Gordon said the "biggest elephant'' facing the state is the future of K-12 education.
The governor said making sure that Wyoming students graduate with the tools needed to succeed in the modern economy a "moral obligation." But he added that Wyoming education has relied on a funding model that "is no longer sustainable."
At another point, Gordon said ''It is not clear that more money equals better education. Or that less does either.'' Lawmakers are grappling with how to address an education funding shortfall estimated at around $300 million. The biggest factor in that shortfall is declining energy industry revenues to state government.