Joint Finance Committee schedules public hearing on sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has scheduled a public hearing on a list of bills including Senate Bill 690 authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette).  SB 690 is an identical companion bill to Assembly Bill 835 which was recommended for passage by the Assembly Education Committee last week.  The hearing will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 1:30PM in room 412 East of the state Capitol.

The bill increases sparsity aid for eligible districts by $100 per pupil (to a total of $400 per pupil) as well as raising the low revenue ceiling for low-spending school districts. The ceiling is a per pupil amount currently set at $9,100. If a school district’s revenue limit is below this amount, they can raise their local levy to that amount without having to go to referendum.  The bill would increase the ceiling to $9,400 in 2018-19 and builds in increases of $100 each year thereafter until it hits $9,800 per pupil in 2022-23.

The WASB strongly supports this bill but we have asked for an amendment to remove provisions that would retroactively prevent districts that have had a failed operating referendum in the recent past from utilizing the low-revenue ceiling adjustment for three years.