Major initiatives in Gov. Evers K-12 budget will not be considered by budget committee

Late yesterday, the Co-Chairs of the state legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), released a memo detailing the budget process moving forward as well as the items from the governor’s proposal that will be excluded from consideration.  This list (see below) should not be confused with items identified by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) as non-fiscal policy items. Those items are marked with an asterisk* in the list below.  Reasoning for why particular items are being removed is not given.

As expected, the committee will also be working from the adjusted base (current law) on the items that remain under consideration.  This means that for any recommendations made in the governor’s proposal to survive, they would have to receive a majority vote (i.e., 9  votes) of the 16  committee members in favor of including them (committee breakdown: GOP-12; Dem-4).  Last budget, the JFC worked from the governor’s proposal which meant  a majority vote was required to remove items proposed by the governor.

ITEMS THAT WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM CONSIDERATION IN THE BUDGET:

General School Aids and Revenue Limits 

  • Reallocate Property Tax Credit Funding to General School Aids Appropriation (Page 317, #5 and Page 385, #1)
  • Revenue Limit Adjustment for Lead Testing and Remediation (Page 321, #14)
  • Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Membership (Page 322, #15)
  • Limit on Number of School District Referenda (Page 322, #16)*

Categorical Aids

  • Driver Education Aid (Page 333, #29)

Choice, Charter, SNSP, and Open Enrollment 

  • Private School Choice Programs — Cap Participation at 2020-21 Levels (Page 339, #3)
  • Private School Choice Programs — Teacher Licensure Requirement (Page 340, #4)*
  • Private School Choice Programs — Accreditation of Private Schools (Page 341, #5)*
  • Milwaukee Private School Choice Program — Eliminate City Choice Levy Aid (Page 342, #6)
  • Private School Choice Programs — Definition of Poverty Level (Page 342, #7)
  • Private School Choice and Special Needs Scholarship Programs — Information Required on Property Tax Bill (Page 342, #8 and Page 390, #6)
  • Special Needs Scholarship Program — Sunset (Page 344, #10)
  • Special Needs Scholarship Program — Teacher Licensure Requirement (Page 344, #11)*
  • Special Needs Scholarship Program — Private School Requirements (Page 344, #12)*
  • Special Needs Scholarship Program — Delete Cost Reimbursement Provision (Page 346, #13)
  • Special Education Scholarship Program — Additional Tuition Charges (Page 347, #14)*
  • Special Education Scholarship Program — Religious Activity Opt-Out (Page 348, #15)*
  • Prohibition on New Independent Charter Schools (Page 349, #17)
  • Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program (Page 351, #20)*

Administrative and Other Funding 

  • Eliminate Teacher Licensure for Alternative Teaching Preparation Program (Page 354, #5)*
  • Paid Planning Time for Teachers (Page 359, #23)*

Related Items in other Agencies

  • Rehired WRS Annuitant Teachers (Page 119, #3) [ETF]*
  • Student Loan Refinancing Study Committee (Page 130, #2; Page 229, #10; and Page 396, #2) [HEAB]*
  • Transfer Office of School Safety from DOJ to DPI (Page 252, #6 and Page 358, #22) [DOJ]
  • Agency Publications (Page 262, #8) [LEGISLATURE] [Act 369]*
  • Administrative Rules (Page 262, #9) [LEGISLATURE] [Act 369]*
  • Municipal Broadband Facilities in Underserved or Unserved Areas (Page 361, #3) [PSC]*
  • Transfers from DWD to DPI [DWD] of the following three programs:
  • Career and Technical Education Grants and Completion Awards (Page 330, #21 and    Page 463, #1)
  • Technical Education Equipment Grant Program (Page 331, #22 and Page 464, #3)
  • Teacher Development Grants (Page 335, #33; Page 464, #4; and Page 464, #5)

See the full memo here.

(Page and item number references in the above list are to the LFB Summary Document, which provides a detailed description of each item.)

The JFC will hold its first executive session on the budget on Thursday, May 9 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 412 East, State Capitol.   Its first order of business will be to take up and vote on a motion to remove all the above items from the budget bill.  No further action will be taken  on K-12 education-related issues at this meeting beyond removing the items listed above.