School board members, administrators and other public school advocates had a strong showing during the first three public hearings held by the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) last week.
Next week the JFC will hold their remaining three public hearings on the state budget in the following locations:
- Tuesday, April 18, Spooner High School Auditorium, Spooner; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 19, Ellsworth High School Gymnasium, Ellsworth; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Friday, April 21, Marinette High School Auditorium, Marinette; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
WASB staff will be on site at these hearings as well. A couple of reminders:
- The hearings don’t start until 10AM, but if you wish to speak in the first few hours of the hearing, you will need to get there by 8AM or earlier. This year they have begun letting people register around 8:30AM.
- You will only have 2 minutes to testify. There will likely be no questions from legislators.
- Bring one extra hard copy of your testimony with your full contact information on it for the committee members. JFC staff will copy it and distribute to committee members for you.
- It is important to lead with how crucial the increase of $200 per student in the first year and $204 per student in the second year in Per Pupil Aid is to your school district.
- When talking to legislators on the JFC, it is also important to ask for removal of the provision requiring each school district to certify that employees will be required to pay at least 12% of all costs and payments associated with health care coverage plans in order to receive the increased per pupil aid.
- School leaders from rural districts may want to talk about how the increases in sparsity aid and high-cost transportation aid will benefit their districts.
- In case you missed it, the JFC co-chairs announced they are working from the governor’s budget proposal for K-12 and not the base budget. You can thank the co-chairs for this if you wish.