Category Archives: State Issue

Some suggestions for the governor and legislative leaders to improve the K-12 budget

Governor Evers’ recent comments to the media indicating that he plans to reach out to Republican legislative leaders before the Assembly and Senate meet to take up the state budget bill got us thinking.

We’d like to take this opportunity to suggest some things we would like to see the governor and legislative leaders discuss seriously in any negotiations they might undertake.  These are modest asks. The JFC budget would spend over $130 million less on K-12 education in the upcoming state budget cycle than in the current state budget cycle. We respectfully suggest policy makers revisit a couple of issues that if adopted could make this a better budget for schools. Continue reading Some suggestions for the governor and legislative leaders to improve the K-12 budget

Assembly passes a number of K-12 bills

On June 18, the state Assembly met in floor session to act on a number of bills.  K-12 education-related bills to expand the minority teacher loan program, include parent/guardian names as directory data under the state’s pupil records law, allow schools to provide prior notice of school safety drills to certain students and require certain information on school report cards were each approved on a voice vote (unanimously).  A bill requiring the DPI to create a guidebook on dyslexia and related conditions for use by school districts and parents was approved on a vote of 76-21. These bills now head to the state Senate for consideration. Continue reading Assembly passes a number of K-12 bills

Assembly education committee schedules meeting on June 13

The Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, June 13 on a pair of bills that stem from the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.   Both bills are authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and sponsored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

UPDATE: Assembly Bill 224 was removed from the hearing agenda. Only Assembly Bill 223 was heard.

The hearing will be held in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol, beginning at 11:01 a.m on the following bills: Continue reading Assembly education committee schedules meeting on June 13

JFC-approved transportation budget dips further into state’s general fund

Last night, the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) passed a transportation budget plan to boost state transportation spending by $483.7 million over the next two fiscal years.

The JFC-approved plan relies in part on increases to title and registration fees and a $90 million transfer from the state’s general fund.  That transfer is a departure from historical practices and deserves attention. Continue reading JFC-approved transportation budget dips further into state’s general fund

WASB Bill Tracking Chart updated with non-budget legislation

While our main focus so far this legislative session has been on the state budget, separate legislation impacting school districts continue to be introduced.  We are continually updating our WASB State Bill Tracking Chart as new bills are released so please check it regularly.

The chart can be found on the header menu of this blog under “WASB Resources” and on our main website, WASB.org, under Services & Resources>>>Advocacy & Government Relations>>>State Bill Tracking Chart.

Examples of some recently added bills include: Continue reading WASB Bill Tracking Chart updated with non-budget legislation

JFC action ups voucher payments, open enrollment transfer amounts

While increases in allowable spending for nearly all public schools will be capped at $200 per pupil in 2019-20 and $204 per pupil in 2020-21,  private schools that participate in the state’s voucher programs will see their voucher payments increase by an estimated $229 per pupil in 2019-20 and an estimated $275 per pupil in 2020-21 under the omnibus K-12 education budget motion adopted by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on May 23.

The JFC rejected the governor’s proposal to limit annual adjustments in voucher payments to the combination of the per pupil increase, if any, in revenue limits in that school year and in the per pupil increase in per pupil categorical aid paid to school districts between the previous school year and the current school year.  Under that proposal, the increase in voucher payments would have been limited to the same $200 and $204 per pupil increases public schools will receive. Continue reading JFC action ups voucher payments, open enrollment transfer amounts

Assembly education committee meeting recap

On Thursday, May 30, the Assembly Committee on Education met to vote on one bill (dyslexia guidebook) and hold a public hearing on three others (school meals,  special education licensure & teacher licensure reciprocity).

Executive Session: Assembly Bill 110 was recommended for full passage by the Assembly on a party-line vote after an amendment was unanimously approved by committee  members. Continue reading Assembly education committee meeting recap