As the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) began hearing briefings from various state agencies concerning their budget requests, Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel used a portion of his testimony to highlight investments in K-12 education Gov. Walker is proposing. Here is what Sec. Neitzel told committee members earlier today:
“Student Success–K-12 Education
First, let me discuss student success. Access to a great education is a moral and economic imperative for the future of Wisconsin. We prioritize student success, which is why Governor Walker’s budget invests $11.5 billion in K-12 education, the highest amount in state history. Of this, $508 million in additional categorical aid will be invested through a $200 per pupil increase in the first year of the biennium and an additional $204 per pupil increase in the second year of the biennium, fully meeting DPI’s request. This funding will be available to school districts who have utilized the tools given to them under Act 10.
Additional funding increases for K-12 education are included in the Governor’s budget through fully funding Sparsity Aid, fully funding High Cost Transportation Aid, and new mental health programs requested by DPI, as well as other programs.
The budget also includes funding for efforts to increase access to broadband across the state – similar to provisions included in Senate Bill 49, which was unanimously approved yesterday by this committee. Thank you to Senator Marklein and Representative Quinn, members of the Study Committee on Rural Broadband, and Joint Finance Committee members for your dedication to providing additional broadband access in rural communities across Wisconsin.
Governor Walker’s budget also allocates $1 million over the biennium for the Fabrication Labs program to put new equipment in schools supporting hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education.”
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