New resources for schools available from Wisconsin Policy Forum

Two new resources worthy of school leaders’ attention and consideration have recently been made available by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.  They are available free of charge, and are worth checking out.

The first is a detailed report on special education funding in Wisconsin highlighting the effects on school district finances of the underfunding of state special education categorical aid.

The report,  entitled Special Education in Wisconsin: How it Works and Why it Matters, is the latest (Feb. 2019) edition of the Wisconsin Taxpayer.  It lays out why special education funding has become a huge financial issue for school districts across the state, and provides useful information that could help school leaders communicate with lawmakers about this issue as the 2019-21 state budget is being considered.

The second is a new online School DataTool that provides data on several key indicators for all K-12 school districts throughout Wisconsin, ranging from enrollment, school spending and finances to demographics, graduation rates and student performance.  This DataTool also allows users to easily compare peer districts–such as district within the same athletic conference–on these measures.

Note: The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a is nonpartisan policy research organization committed to improving the quality of government decision-making in Wisconsin.  It is the  product of a merger between two well-respected and impartial research organizations–the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum–that took effect on January 1, 2018.  The new organization calls itself the Wisconsin Policy Forum to reflect its new statewide focus.