Wyoming to receive ~$360M for education under ARP, offsetting projected $331M/yr deficit - Cheyenne, WY Cap City News
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Wyoming to receive ~$360M for education under ARP, offsetting projected $331M/yr deficit

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming will receive about $360 million for education under the American Rescue Plan Act, Governor Mark Gordon’s office said Tuesday.

That $360 million for education is in addition to about $1 billion that will be provided to the state. The American Rescue Plan will provide a number of other funding streams to Wyoming, including about $112,417,150 specifically for counties. Municipalities will also receive a boost. Casper, for example, will receive about $9,115,340.

The $360 million for education should help offset some of Wyoming’s projected shortfalls for K-12 education funding in the short-term. The Wyoming Legislature failed to address the projected K-12 education deficit during their 2021 General Session.

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Without the federal injection, Wyoming would need to use about $331 million in “rainy day” fund (Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA)) dollars on an annual basis in order to maintain operations, according to statements from House Majority Floor Leader Albert Sommers (Sublette County) during the spring session.

The legislature is expected to hold a special session in July to guide how funding Wyoming is set to receive under the American Rescue Plan Act will be used.

Gordon’s office said on Monday that they are working on plans on how to use the roughly $1 billion the state expects to receive and that about half has already been received.

Gordon plans to use the funding to address the following focus areas:

  • Health and Social Services
  • Education and Workforce
  • Economic Diversity and Economic Development

The American Rescue Plan Act overall is a package that includes about $1.9 trillion. Included in the package is the “Education Stabilization Fund” which includes $123 billion to support K-12 schools across the country.

The National Association of Counties provides a breakdown of funding under the overall $1.9 trillion package which includes:

  • Direct Financial Assistance: $656.18 billion
    • includes $402.2 billion for stimulus checks
    • other items include things like unemployment, tax credits, Paycheck Protection Program
  • State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: $362 billion
    • funding for states, tribal governments, counties, municipalities
  • Education and Childcare: $211.57 billion
  • Health: $86.24 billion
  • Assistance to Individuals and Families: $56.27 billion
  • Transportation: $40.16 billion
  • Other Programs: $61.32 billion

This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.