All posts by drossmiller

Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

President Trump and Congressional leaders reached a federal budget deal last night, with the announcement coming via a Presidential tweet. The agreement, which still needs to pass Congress, comes days before Congress is set to leave town for its August recess.

One key feature of the deal is that it calls for raising limits on federal discretionary spending by $320 billion. Only about $77 billion of the new spending authorized by the deal would be offset by spending cuts, less than the $150 billion in spending cuts the White House had called for earlier. Under the package, both defense spending and non-defense spending, including spending for education programs, would increase. Continue reading Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

Here’s a quick recap of some of the key K-12 education  provisions in the state’s new biennial budget as signed into law by the governor (with partial vetoes).

What’s In:

Revenue Limits:

  • Revenue limits for all districts will increase by $175 in the 2019-20 school year and by an additional $179 in the 2020-21 school year.
  • The “low revenue ceiling” for the state’s lowest spending districts, which was set at $9,400 in 2018-19 is increased to $9,700 in the 2019-20 school year and to $10,000 in 2020-21 and in each subsequent school year. (Note: This adjustment in the low revenue ceiling may not be available for certain low revenue districts in which a referendum to exceed the revenue limits was held and failed in specified years.)

Continue reading 2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

In a letter  to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Wisconsin Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd) and Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd) raised concerns about the proposed cap on federal E-Rate allocations that are used to fund school connectivity to high-speed broadband (see previous post) as well as the overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF), which supplies E-Rate funds.  The two joined with several other House members in expressing concerns.

Continue reading State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

While a good deal of attention has been paid to the governor’s vetoes pertaining to per pupil aid and supplemental per pupil aid, there are a number of other vetoes that will impact schools that school leaders should be aware of.   Here are two that will have the biggest impact on school districts:

Personal Computing Devices: A partial veto by the governor effectively eliminates funding (roughly $9.2 million annually) for the personal electronic computing devices grant program effective July 1, 2019. Continue reading Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

How the new state budget increases spendable resources for schools

In signing the 2019-21 state budget into law, Gov. Evers used his partial veto authority in a way that increases per pupil categorical aid payments above the level the Legislature had provided.  As a result, school districts will receive per pupil aid payments equal to $742 per pupil in each year (i.e., in both 2019-20 and 2020-21).   The governor’s partial veto also has the effect of “front-loading” the per pupil aid increase compared to the way the Legislature provided this aid, which would have spread the increase evenly over two years (see charts below). Continue reading How the new state budget increases spendable resources for schools

WASB asks Gov. Evers to boost per pupil aid with partial veto

In a  letter to Gov. Evers sent this morning, the WASB asked the governor to use his partial veto authority to increase per pupil categorical aid payments to school districts by $25 per pupil in the 2019-20 school year.

Under the change requested by the WASB, per pupil aid categorical payments to public school districts would equal $704 per pupil in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Continue reading WASB asks Gov. Evers to boost per pupil aid with partial veto

Special update on E-Rate and broadband: FCC considers cap on Universal Service Fund

As we noted in an earlier post, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing an overall cap on Universal Service Fund (USF) revenue and a sub-cap on USF allocations to the E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs. We are concerned these actions could potentially damage these important programs, and especially E-Rate.

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on its proposal, which could force the four programs funded under USF, including E-Rate, to battle each other for funds. The FCC is calling for comments by a July 15 deadline with reply comments due thirty days later. This is an especially tough deadline for schools to meet, as most are out for the summer and, chances are, few teachers and administrators are focused on federal policy making. Continue reading Special update on E-Rate and broadband: FCC considers cap on Universal Service Fund