Category Archives: National Issue

Research continues to show increased school funding equates to better outcomes for students

New research continues to show that funding does matter in education.  From Chalkbeat:

“A 2018 overview of the research on education spending found that more money consistently meant better outcomes for students — higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and sometimes even higher wages as adults. It was enough for Northwestern economist Kirabo Jackson to say the question was ‘essentially settled.’

“Since then, the research hits have just kept on coming.”

Included in the story are four new studies from around the country, including one in Wisconsin: Continue reading Research continues to show increased school funding equates to better outcomes for students

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

K-12 per-pupil spending in Wisconsin lags national average

Spending on public K-12 education in Wisconsin lagged the national average by about $233 per pupil in the 2016-17 school year, according to new figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Those figures are the most recent available and rank Wisconsin 22nd among states in per-pupil spending and 23rd if the District of Columbia is included. Continue reading K-12 per-pupil spending in Wisconsin lags national average

50th annual PDK poll results: Public supports more funding for schools, teachers

For the past half-century, Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), an organization of professional educators, has released a nationwide poll this time of year that attempts to capture the American public’s attitudes toward public education.

For the 19th consecutive year, Americans have named the lack of funding as the biggest problem facing their local schools and by a higher margin than in recent years.

Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed say teacher pay in their community is too low, while just 6 percent say it’s too high.  Further, for the first time since the question was asked in 1969, a majority of respondents (54 percent) say they would not want their child to become a public school teacher, often citing poor pay and benefits among their reasons. Continue reading 50th annual PDK poll results: Public supports more funding for schools, teachers

Hearing on Gun-Free School Zones Law Repeal Bill Set for Next Wednesday

The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 169, authored by Sen. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon, pictured), which would repeal the state’s gun free school zones law, among other provisions, on:

Wednesday May 31st
9:30 AM
Room 411 South, State Capitol, Madison

As mentioned, this bill would repeal the state’s gun free school zones law; allow individuals to obtain a “basic” concealed carry licenses without completing firearms training; require school boards to post school buildings and grounds to prohibit possession of firearms by carrying concealed weapon (CCW) license holders in those places; and reduce penalties for persons who possess firearms in school buildings and on school grounds in violation of such postings. Continue reading Hearing on Gun-Free School Zones Law Repeal Bill Set for Next Wednesday

DeVos Expected to Unveil Trump Administration’s Plans to Encourage Voucher Expansion in Speech Tonight

Tonight in Indianapolis, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is scheduled to address a gathering of the American Federation for Children (AFC), a national pro-voucher advocacy group that she founded and long headed.   Her appearance before the group comes one day before the Trump Administration’s education budget will be formally unveiled.

During her speech to the AFC’s National Policy Summit, DeVos is expected to unveil the Trump Administration’s school-choice education proposals, which are rumored to include offering tax breaks to parents who send children to religious and other private schools. Continue reading DeVos Expected to Unveil Trump Administration’s Plans to Encourage Voucher Expansion in Speech Tonight

U.S. House Passes Obamacare Repeal Bill, Deep Cuts to Medicaid Will Impact Special Education

housechamberThe U.S. House of Representatives voted today (Thursday May 4) to approve a bill to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”) with new legislation known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA).  The measure was passed on a 217-213 vote.

Among other things, the ACHA would make profound changes to the state-federal partnership program known as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, including reducing by $880 billion the amount of federal Medicaid dollars to states.  These changes would significantly impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive critically necessary health services in public schools. The changes would require schools to compete for limited Medicaid funding, which would likely result in arbitrary caps on the amount of Medicaid reimbursements made to public schools.

Continue reading U.S. House Passes Obamacare Repeal Bill, Deep Cuts to Medicaid Will Impact Special Education