Legislative leadership positions remain largely unchanged

The four legislative caucuses recently met to elect their leadership teams and, on the whole, there were not many changes from last session.

Lawmakers new to their leadership posts are marked *.

Senate Republicans re-elected Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) as Majority Leader and Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) as President.  Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) returns as Senate Co-Chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC).  Also elected to the Senate GOP leadership team are Sens.: Continue reading Legislative leadership positions remain largely unchanged

More schools and districts meet or exceed state expectations

Over 96 percent of Wisconsin school districts met or exceeded state expectations in 2017-18, according to school and district report cards released by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). In addition, nearly 84 percent of individual public schools met or exceeded state expectations. Both figures reflect an improvement over the previous year (2016-17). Continue reading More schools and districts meet or exceed state expectations

Committee studying Common School Fund to meet Nov. 14

The Legislative Council Study Committee on the  Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds will hold its next meeting Nov. 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., in Room 411 South, State Capitol.

The School Trust Funds under study by this committee include the Common School Fund, which provides the income from which Library Aids for public school libraries are generated.

The materials for this meeting  have been posted to the committee’s webpage, including the minutes of the committee’s October 11, 2018 meeting.

Evers captures governor’s race, GOP keeps legislative control, two board members elected to Assembly

Following a narrow defeat, Republican Gov. Scott Walker conceded Wednesday afternoon, signaling the beginning of an end to his eventful 8-year stint as Wisconsin Governor.

Walker will hand the reins to Democrat Tony Evers, the sitting State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who defeated Walker in one of the closest gubernatorial races in recent state history.  Gov. Walker offered the “full support of my staff and our cabinet” as Evers begins the transition process.

Continue reading Evers captures governor’s race, GOP keeps legislative control, two board members elected to Assembly

School operating referenda passage rates rise again

Voters gave overwhelming approval to local referendum requests to exceed state-imposed revenue limits yesterday.  

A total of 38 operating referenda were on the Nov. 6 ballot. 

According to media reports, voters approved 21 of 24 ballot questions (87.5 percent) seeking approval of non-recurring revenue limit exemptions and approved 13 of 14 questions (93 percent) asking for recurring exemptions to the revenue limit.  (Results at this point are unofficial.)

Continue reading School operating referenda passage rates rise again

Referendum success continues with big day for debt-issuance questions

Voters throughout Wisconsin showed continued strong support for new and better school facilities yesterday.  According to media reports, voters gave their approval to at least 41 of the 44 (93 percent) of the referendum requests to borrow money for school improvements.  (One result, in the Big Foot UHS district, is considered by some  in the media to be too close to call, although “yes” votes lead “no” votes in unofficial results on that question.)

Continue reading Referendum success continues with big day for debt-issuance questions

Voucher expansion continues to drain state aid from public schools and boost property taxes

Overall enrollment in Wisconsin’s three main private school voucher programs (Milwaukee, Racine and statewide) increased by about 8.7 percent over last year’s voucher enrollment.  Taxpayers will spend $302 million this year on vouchers to send students to private schools, an increase of about $33 million (12.3 percent) over last year. Continue reading Voucher expansion continues to drain state aid from public schools and boost property taxes