DPI budget request includes indexing revenue limits to inflation; returning to state covering 2/3 of costs; “Fair Funding” elements

State Superintendent Tony Evers announced that the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) 2019-21 state budget request will incorporate elements from the “Fair Funding for our Future” plan which he has proposed in previous budgets.  According to the DPI website this includes “guaranteeing state funding for every student” and “accounting for family income and poverty as a factor in educating students”.

He also called for returning the state’s share of education costs to two-thirds, indexing revenue limits to inflation and increasing funding for 4 year old kindergarten programs.

According to Wispolitics.com

Evers as part of his “Fair Funding” plan today will propose indexing revenue limits to inflation. The limit caps how much schools can spend through a combination of state aid and property taxes.

His plan also will call for guaranteeing that the state fund two-thirds of each student’s education. The budget Gov. Scott Walker introduced in February called for funding 64.6 percent of public school costs after the state’s commitment dropped below 62 percent in 2012.

Evers also will call for:

*changes to the way pre-K students’ attendance is counted for the purpose of distributing state aid. Currently, state law requires that students enrolled in full-day programs be counted as one-half pupil, rather than one pupil. Under Evers’ plan, students in those full-time programs would be counted as one in calculating state aid.

*a state component to match the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program. Under the current framework, the federal Department of Education provides grants to DPI for administering summer and after-school programs that often serve students from low-income families. President Trump last year moved to eliminate the program under his budget proposal. Under the state program, DPI would be able to fund CLCs the agency would otherwise have to deny if there’s a shortage of federal dollars, per a spokesman.