By Elsa Heidorn
Cheyenne, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal criticized five mineral-rich school districts today for withholding more than 44 million dollars from the state. Voters passed a constitutional amendment last November that says tax-rich districts must give back money to the state to help poorer districts. But the districts are arguing that the payments are optional because of the way other state laws are written. Governor Freudenthal said today that he disagrees with that argument.
"Particularly the decision not to send the money to the state has the full capacity to engender shall we say a less than positive attitude from the legislature with regard to education funding and we've made great progress on that in the last few years," Freudenthal said. "I hope the sentiment surrounding these actions won't undermine those efforts," he added.
According to an administrator in Sublette County School District 1, the dispute could be headed to court.