By October 15 of each year, the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is statutorily required to compute General Equalization Aids for the current school year for each public school district in the state using the most accurate (i.e., audited) data available from each district’s prior fiscal year Annual Report, September and January Membership Reports and equalized property valuations as certified by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) for the prior calendar year. The resulting aid amounts–modified by the prior year (in this case, 2016-17) final aid eligibility adjustments–are paid to districts during the current fiscal year (2017-18).
Because October 15 falls on a Sunday this year, the DPI has released this information to school districts on the last weekday before the 15th. As a result, the October 15 General School Aid Certifications for all school districts for the 2017-18 school year are now available online at: http://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/aid/general/summary.
Continue reading DPI Releases 2017-18 General Aid Certification for School Districts
Governor Scott Walker is visiting schools in Wausaukee, Cadott, and Belmont today to announce his support for new legislation to increase Sparsity Aid for rural schools, an idea he championed earlier this year.
Currently, the Sparsity Aid Program aims to offset the challenges faced by the smallest, most rural school districts in the state through providing $300 in per-pupil funding for districts with enrollments of 745 or less and a density of less than 10 pupils per square mile.
Continue reading New Plan to Boost Sparsity Aid Gets Gov. Walker’s Backing
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education awarded approximately $253 million in new federal grants to fund the creation and expansion of public charter schools across the nation. The grants were awarded to state educational agencies and other state entities, charter management organizations (CMOs) and other non-profit organizations across the country. Continue reading Wisconsin Is One of Nine States to Receive New Federal Charter School Grants
The state budget signed into law today (Sept. 21) significantly invests in our public school students and districts, one of the best investments we can make as a state. The substantial increases in per-pupil aid and other categorical aids are welcome and vitally important to our public school districts that serve the vast majority of students in Wisconsin and are tasked with preparing all of them for college and/or careers.
I also applaud the mental health-related supports for students and school districts included in the state budget. These needs have been overlooked for too long.
I am disappointed that neither revenue limit relief for low-spending districts nor an increase/expansion of sparsity aid were included in the final budget. Both are targeted to school districts that have special challenges and this was a lost opportunity. I am also disappointed with the further expansions of private school vouchers and special needs vouchers which continue to take us down the path of funding dual education systems when we have not been able to maintain even inflationary increases for our constitutionally mandated public school system. In addition, several policy items were included in the budget (e.g. teacher and administrator licensure changes, scheduling of referendum restrictions and restrictions for energy savings projects) that will impact the efficient operations of school districts.
Ultimately, I understand that a budget comes down to making hard choices with available resources and there will be provisions that school board members statewide both support and oppose. On behalf of all 422 locally elected school boards in Wisconsin, I want to thank the governor and members of the Legislature for their public service and for the positive items included for public schools. I also look forward to continuing to work with both the governor and lawmakers for the remainder of this legislative session.
Read: WASB Summary of Key 2017-19 State Budget Provisions for Public Schools
In order to secure votes from Senate GOP holdouts for the state budget, Gov. Walker agreed to several vetoes, including the following related to K-12 education:
- Energy Efficiency Revenue Limit Exemption
Governor Walker originally proposed eliminating this exemption and the Legislature restored the program, albeit with a year-long moratorium preventing any projects for 2018. The Governor agreed to use his partial veto to alter the moratorium language. It doesn’t appear he can repeal the language creating this exemption by using his partial veto pen. However, it does appear he can creatively veto the moratorium provision in a way that would likely prevent districts that haven’t already adopted resolutions from being able to utilize this exemption for a very long time into the future. Continue reading Gov. Walker Agrees to K-12 Vetoes; WASB Submits Veto Requests
Updated: The state Senate voted 19-14 to pass the state budget and send it to Gov. Walker after he agreed to certain vetoes to gain the support of Senate GOP holdouts Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).
Read More: Scott Walker strikes deal with Republican holdouts as Wisconsin Senate passes budget (Cap Times)
Continue reading Senate Approves State Budget Bill With Gov. Walker Veto Deal
The state Assembly passed the state budget bill late last night on a vote of 57-39 with all Democrats and five Republicans (Reps. Scott Allen of Waukesha, Janel Brandtjen of Menomonee Falls, Bob Gannon of West Bend, Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake and Joe Sanfelippo of New Berlin) voting NO on the bill.
The bill now goes to the state Senate where a Friday vote is planned even though they are currently short of the 17 needed votes to pass it. Continue reading Assembly Passes State Budget Bill; Senate Support Uncertain