No External Cost Adjustment for Education This Year

By on November 7, 2009

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriation Committee recommended this past week that there be no External Cost Adjustment to education funding.   It is only a recommendation, but their recommendation usually holds.

The External Cost Adjustment is sort of a fancy way of saying cost of living adjustment adjustment.  The external cost adjustment attempts to maintain the dollar value over time beyond the base funding year, school year 2006-2007.  Last year the external cost adjustment that was approved for 2009-2010 was 3.7%.  This adjustment generated about $30.8 million.  The year before (2008-2009) the external cost adjustment had been 4.3% which generated about $34 million.  And in 2008-08 the external cost adjustment was 3.8% which brought in $28.6 million.  All together the cumulate impacts of the combined adjustments, amount to roughly $129.3 million since school year 2006-07, the initial school year following recalibration.

Since the base year of 06-07 education funding has increased by 12.27%, thus bring the full amount being spent to $1.2 billion.  And this does not include items that are outside of the model, such as special education, transportation, summer school, extended day, instructional facilitators, and school construction.

This was expected and had been discussed for the past month as being the first step in the budgeting process that is in full swing right now, preparing for the Wyoming Legislature’s Budget Session in February 2010.  The Governor will turn in his proposed budget on December 1, 2009.  Then the Joint Appropriations Committee will get down to work throughout December and January.  The Joint Appropriation will then present the budget to the full legislature in February 2010 and the legislature will set the budget for July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012.  We work on a 2 year budget cycle.  Even though we work on a 2 year budget cycle, the legislature looks at the external cost adjustment every year, so it will be looked at again next year.

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