State Superintendent Tony Evers foreshadowed priorities of the 2017-19 state budget request he will submit to the governor later this fall in the annual State of Education address today. Three items that he stressed were:
- providing resources to students that reflect the need to increase equity and close achievement gaps,
- building the educator workforce so every student has a teacher who is well trained and well compensated, and
- paying for schools in a way that avoids mounting inequalities.
In the interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Evers said he will ask for Per Pupil Aid (the categorical aid outside of revenue limits that has been distributed to all districts equally) to be weighted for students who are impoverished, learning English, struggling with a disability or low-income. That would mean districts that serve lots of those types of students would get more funding; districts serving fewer of those students would get less.
To address teacher shortages in rural districts, he told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview that he will propose to “level the playing field” among school districts by giving more money to schools in rural areas that have trouble matching salaries offered by wealthier districts. He will propose reimbursing each rural school district with $5,000 to $10,000 to allow the districts to match competing job offers for their teachers.
Supt. Evers also plans to propose more funding for mental health training in schools and for summer school learning opportunities.