Ahead of today’s agency briefing on the DPI budget, the WASB sent a memo to Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members outlining our concerns about a provision in the governor’s proposed budget that requires each school district to certify that it is using the “tools” provided under Act 10 in order to receive the proposed increases of $200 and $204 in per pupil categorical aid under the budget bill.
Specifically, this provision requires each school district to certify to the DPI that “the employees of the district will be required to pay at least 12 percent of all costs and payments associated with employee health care coverage plans in that year” in order to receive the increased per pupil aid.
The memo respectfully asks that this provision be removed from the budget bill or that, at a minimum, this provision be modified to take into account the reality that under revenue limits school districts have used flexibilities provided by Act 10 to generate cost savings and reduce personnel costs in a variety of ways.
The memo cites examples of many ways districts have achieved cost savings and reduced their costs other than simply increasing school employees’ share of payments for health care coverage.
We encourage school leaders to contact your lawmakers with two messages: 1) Explain how you have cut personnel costs in ways other than simply making employees pay more for health care; and 2) Ask them to remove or modify the Act 10 compliance certification requirement to reflect the reality that your school district and others are using Act 10 flexibility to reduce costs in a variety of ways.