The Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding met for the first time yesterday (Dec. 14), holding an informational public hearing that featured presentations from the staff of the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) as well as the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Those presentations led to a lively question and answer session between presenters and Commission members.
The entire hearing was broadcast live on Wisconsin Eye, our state’s version of C-SPAN. A video recording of the entire hearing should be uploaded to the Wisconsin Eye website and available for viewing on Monday.
Continue reading Commission Begins Tackling Wisconsin School Funding
With property tax bills set to be mailed this week, school property taxes are likely to come under scrutiny once again.
Although per pupil revenue limits on school districts meant to hold down property taxes were unchanged by the Legislature, 2017-18 school levies totaled $4.945 billion, a slight increase of $87.1 million (1.8%) over the previous year, according to Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) figures, and below the rate of inflation.
That increase in gross school levies will be more or less offset by an $87 million increase in the school levy credit, through which the state directly reduces the net tax due on taxpayers’ bills. Continue reading Statewide School Tax Levies Up Less Than Inflation
The Wisconsin Legislature wrapped up its fall floor period last week. Lawmakers won’t return to the floor again until January. The fate of any number of bills may depend on how many proposals the houses want to tackle.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told WisPolitics.com late last week that he expects the Assembly to meet for two weeks in January and two weeks in February as well.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said he expects the Senate to be in one day each in January, February and March. Continue reading Legislature Recesses Until January; Hopes Dim for Action on Sparsity Aid, Relief for Low-Revenue Districts
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) recently released its annual memo estimating state support for K-12 education in the previous school year. The memo provides information on the estimated level of state support provided for K-12 education statewide and to individual school districts in the 2016-17 school year.
Continue reading Figures on State Support for K-12 Education, Public School Districts Released
Ten school referenda will be on the ballot Tuesday in various school districts across the state. It will mark the last time school boards will be able to place ballot questions before voters on a date that doesn’t coincide with a regularly scheduled election under new restrictions enacted as part of the 2017-19 state budget.
Effective January 1, 2018, school district referenda to exceed revenue limits and to issue bonds will be limited to being held only on regularly-scheduled election days (i.e., the February spring primary or April spring general election, or the August (fall) partisan primary or November general election). Districts will be further restricted to calling referenda on just two dates per calendar year.
Continue reading Voters to Decide Ten School Referenda on Tuesday
The costs of Wisconsin’s three voucher programs (Milwaukee, Racine and Statewide) will reach just under $270 million in the current 2017-18 school year, according to figures released today by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), which oversee the state’s voucher programs.
The costs of voucher programs will jump by $25 million this year over the previous (2016-17) school year.
In addition, public school districts across the state will have their state aid reduced by nearly $43 million to pay the costs of voucher students who reside in their districts and who first enrolled in and participated in the Statewide or Racine voucher programs in 2015-16 or later. These students are referred to in state law as “incoming” voucher pupils. Continue reading Statewide Tab for Private School Vouchers Reaches $270 Million