State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor delivered her first annual State of Education Address today at the State Capitol in Madison. While she trumpeted Wisconsin schools successes she also expressed concern for persistent gaps and working towards equity in educational achievement, access and opportunity.
She called the funding increases included in the most recent state budget a down-payment for improving student achievement and committed to working with the governor and legislature going forward to improve educational outcomes.
Excerpts of the speech from DPI: Continue reading State Supt. Stanford Taylor delivers State of Education Address; emphasizes collaboration for educational equity
Split party control of Wisconsin state government appears to have greatly slowed the flow of legislation being enacted into law in the current 2019-20 legislative session and it appears unlikely the pace will pick up anytime soon.
According to the Wheeler Report, neither the state Senate nor the state Assembly are expected to meet in floor session during the month of September. Lawmakers had set aside the period from Sept. 17 to 26 for a floor period when they organized the session schedule back in January. The next scheduled floor period is October 8-10. Continue reading Slow pace of legislation lags previous sessions
WisconsinEye recently sat down with key state legislative leaders on K-12 education to discuss a variety of issues as we begin the new school year. State Senators Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) & Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and State Reps. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) & Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) sat down with Steve Walters to discuss a variety of topics including the state budget, school funding challenges, school vouchers, charter schools and more.
Access the full video here.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the key K-12 education provisions in the state’s new biennial budget as signed into law by the governor (with partial vetoes).
- Revenue limits for all districts will increase by $175 in the 2019-20 school year and by an additional $179 in the 2020-21 school year.
- The “low revenue ceiling” for the state’s lowest spending districts, which was set at $9,400 in 2018-19 is increased to $9,700 in the 2019-20 school year and to $10,000 in 2020-21 and in each subsequent school year. (Note: This adjustment in the low revenue ceiling may not be available for certain low revenue districts in which a referendum to exceed the revenue limits was held and failed in specified years.)
Continue reading 2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out
From the Department of Public Instruction:
“The Department of Public Instruction distributed $6.5 million for services to support students’ mental health in 120 public school districts and one independent charter school. The funding comes from the School-Based Mental Health Services Grants Program. Continue reading Additional school mental health grants awarded
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released their estimate of the district by district effect of the major K-12 funding provisions included in the signed-into-law 2019-21 state budget. The numbers in the memo represent the estimated change to prior law.
The memo includes analysis of the following provisions:
- Per Pupil Revenue Limit Adjustment and Low Revenue Adjustment
- Per Pupil Aid
- Special Education Aid
Access the memo to see the effect on your school district here:
Estimated Effects of School Finance Provisions for School Districts Under 2019-21 Budget Act
While a good deal of attention has been paid to the governor’s vetoes pertaining to per pupil aid and supplemental per pupil aid, there are a number of other vetoes that will impact schools that school leaders should be aware of. Here are two that will have the biggest impact on school districts:
Personal Computing Devices: A partial veto by the governor effectively eliminates funding (roughly $9.2 million annually) for the personal electronic computing devices grant program effective July 1, 2019. Continue reading Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools