Category Archives: State Issue

Commission Begins Tackling Wisconsin School Funding

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

144 Wisconsin School Districts Share In Sparsity Aid

A record 144 small, rural Wisconsin school districts have received a total of $18.5 million in sparsity aid payments for the 2017-18 school year.  These 144 school districts (comprising  roughly 34 percent of Wisconsin’s 422 school districts) qualified for sparsity aid based on having a membership of 745 or fewer students and a density of less than 10 pupils per square mile of the district’s geographic area. Continue reading 144 Wisconsin School Districts Share In Sparsity Aid

School Funding Commission to Hold First Meeting Dec. 14

The newly-formed Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will hold its first meeting—an informational public hearing—Thursday, Dec. 14 at 10:00 AM in Room 412 East of the State Capitol.  (View  meeting notice.)

The Commission will hear a presentation from the Department of Public Instruction and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.  Testimony will be from invited speakers only. Continue reading School Funding Commission to Hold First Meeting Dec. 14

Federal Tax Overhaul Could Bring Significant Changes to K-12 Education

As the U.S. House and Senate work to reconcile their differing versions of a federal tax reform plan, one thing appears certain: significant changes are ahead for our nation’s schools.

If you’re curious about how provisions in the federal tax overhaul bill might affect K-12 students and schools, this brief, 4-minute audio report from National Public Radio provides a concise summary of the key changes proposed by Congress likely to impact public K-12 schools and their students.

 

Statewide School Tax Levies Up Less Than Inflation

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

Bill to Expand Immoral Conduct to Include Aiding & Abetting Sexual Abuse Signed Into Law

Gov. Scott Walker signed a group of bills on Friday, Dec. 8, including Senate Bill 253 authored by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) that will implement in state statutes provisions in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) intended to prohibit aiding and abetting sexual abuse of children/students by school personnel.

The bill would specify in state law that it is immoral conduct for a DPI licensee (e.g., a teacher, administrator or HR director, etc.) to assist a school employee, contractor, or agent to obtain a new job in a school or school district if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that the person committed a sex offense against a student or a minor.  A violation could subject the licensee to potential loss or his or her DPI license. Continue reading Bill to Expand Immoral Conduct to Include Aiding & Abetting Sexual Abuse Signed Into Law

Legislative Leaders Announce Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), the leaders of each house of the Wisconsin Legislature, today announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding to be chaired by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) (pictured at left from the Legislative Advocacy Conference).   WASB Government Relations Director Dan Rossmiller has been appointed to the commission.

The press release announcing the formation of the commission indicates, “The commission will hold its first meeting this month. Beginning next year, the commission will travel around the state conducting public hearings to learn more about school funding issues in Wisconsin.  Recommendations will be given to legislative leaders before the end of the session.” Continue reading Legislative Leaders Announce Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding