Laramie County School District#1 Superintendent John Lyttle says the district is still hoping lawmakers will come up with money for a new junior high school at some point.

Legislators in the 2017 session which wrapped up on Friday refused to allocate $41 million that was proposed for a new Carey Junior High School, despite repeated attempts by Laramie County lawmakers to get the funding approved.

Lyttle on Monday noted his disappointment with the decision, saying the district had been working with lawmakers for a decade on the plans for the new school and had conducted two studies.

"But in the end, they decided to use that money for major maintenance instead of a school," he added.

To deal with the overcrowding challenges the lack of the new school will present, Lyttle says the district is looking at re-adjusting some of the school boundaries, and will also be forced to continue using modular classrooms.

Lyttle also says the $34 million funding cut the legislature approved in overall school funding will probably mean a roughly $5 million to $6 million cut for LCSD#1. He says the district is hoping to deal with the decreased funding mostly by not filling positions that open up because of retirement or people leaving the district.

He adds, however, "We may have to look at some programs we are offering" as well.

But Lyttle says that even though the cuts faced by the district "will be a challenge," they are much better than the $91 million in cuts that were proposed at one point in a Senate bill.

Lyttle says if the cuts proposed in Senate File 165 had become law the district would have had no choice other than to "let go a lot of teachers." Several school district officials around the state had warned of catastrophic consequences for education had SF 165 become law.

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