CHEYENNE – As the economic landscape of Wyoming changes, so does one of the most equitable education systems in the country.
The two once supported each other with great success. The oil and mining industry was robust and led to a sustainable distribution of state funding, leaving taxpayers with little responsibility to pay for a quality education.
But consumption of oil, gas and coal has declined, and with that, so has the ability for the Wyoming Legislature to support the nearly $17,000 it spends per student every year. Economic pressures, such as inflation and new market-value costs for teachers, technology and materials, are also eating away at the funds.
And although the bill for education continues to rise, state legislators and politicians no longer want to support an increase in the budget….