Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

President Trump and Congressional leaders reached a federal budget deal last night, with the announcement coming via a Presidential tweet. The agreement, which still needs to pass Congress, comes days before Congress is set to leave town for its August recess.

One key feature of the deal is that it calls for raising limits on federal discretionary spending by $320 billion. Only about $77 billion of the new spending authorized by the deal would be offset by spending cuts, less than the $150 billion in spending cuts the White House had called for earlier. Under the package, both defense spending and non-defense spending, including spending for education programs, would increase. Continue reading Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

Here’s a quick recap of some of the key K-12 education  provisions in the state’s new biennial budget as signed into law by the governor (with partial vetoes).

What’s In:

Revenue Limits:

  • Revenue limits for all districts will increase by $175 in the 2019-20 school year and by an additional $179 in the 2020-21 school year.
  • The “low revenue ceiling” for the state’s lowest spending districts, which was set at $9,400 in 2018-19 is increased to $9,700 in the 2019-20 school year and to $10,000 in 2020-21 and in each subsequent school year. (Note: This adjustment in the low revenue ceiling may not be available for certain low revenue districts in which a referendum to exceed the revenue limits was held and failed in specified years.)

Continue reading 2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

Additional school mental health grants awarded

From the Department of Public Instruction:

“The Department of Public Instruction distributed $6.5 million for services to support students’ mental health in 120 public school districts and one independent charter school. The funding comes from the School-Based Mental Health Services Grants Program. Continue reading Additional school mental health grants awarded

LFB releases memo on impact of state budget on school districts

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released their estimate of the district by district effect of the major K-12 funding provisions included in the signed-into-law 2019-21 state budget. The numbers in the memo represent the estimated change to prior law.

The memo includes analysis of the following provisions:

  • Per Pupil Revenue Limit Adjustment and Low Revenue Adjustment
  • Per Pupil Aid
  • Special Education Aid

Access the memo to see the effect on your school district here:

Estimated Effects of School Finance Provisions for School Districts Under 2019-21 Budget Act

State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

In a letter  to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Wisconsin Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd) and Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd) raised concerns about the proposed cap on federal E-Rate allocations that are used to fund school connectivity to high-speed broadband (see previous post) as well as the overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF), which supplies E-Rate funds.  The two joined with several other House members in expressing concerns.

Continue reading State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

While a good deal of attention has been paid to the governor’s vetoes pertaining to per pupil aid and supplemental per pupil aid, there are a number of other vetoes that will impact schools that school leaders should be aware of.   Here are two that will have the biggest impact on school districts:

Personal Computing Devices: A partial veto by the governor effectively eliminates funding (roughly $9.2 million annually) for the personal electronic computing devices grant program effective July 1, 2019. Continue reading Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

Assembly education committee to hold hearing on teacher prep bill; vote on consolidation aid

The Assembly Committee on Education will hold a public hearing and an executive session Thursday, July 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol.

The committee is chaired by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and is scheduled to take public testimony on:

Assembly Bill 232 relating to: teacher preparatory programs and granting rule-making authority.

Continue reading Assembly education committee to hold hearing on teacher prep bill; vote on consolidation aid