Among other state budget actions, the Joint Finance Committee voted along party-lines last week to transfer $22 million in federal e-rate funds (which are meant to support telecommunications services in schools and libraries–the “e” in e-rate stands for “education”) in each year of the budget to the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The amount transferred is $19.8 million more than what the Governor’s budget had proposed.
While this may be viewed by some as good news for rural areas that currently lack adequate broadband (high-speed internet) connections, it could spell concerns for schools and libraries in the future. Continue reading Recent state and federal moves on e-rate funds raise caution flags
The legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC) finished its work on the 2019-21 state budget on June 13. The budget now heads to each house of the state legislature–Assembly first, then Senate–for consideration before heading to Gov. Evers.
The Assembly plans to take up the budget on Tuesday, June 25 with the Senate following on the 26th or 27th according to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in a press conference touting the JFC proposal. Continue reading JFC finishes work on state budget
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
The WASB Budget Chart has been updated to detail the actions taken to date by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on K-12 education-related provisions in the proposed 2019-21 state budget. You can find the chart here.
For each budget item, the chart describes the proposal at each stage in the process and the dollar amounts attached to it. In separate columns, the chart shows the DPI budget request, if any, the governor’s proposal, if any, and the JFC action on each item. Continue reading Updated WASB Budget Chart posted
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. Continue reading JFC action ups voucher payments, open enrollment transfer amounts
On Thursday, May 23 the GOP members of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) passed an omnibus motion on K-12 education on a party-line vote. The motion covers two fiscal years (2019-20/1st year & 2020-21/2nd year). The total amount by which state funding for K-12 education is increased over those two years under the motion is approximately $500 million.
Below are highlights of that plan (numbers are rounded): Continue reading Major details of JFC K-12 budget plan adopted
“I want to recognize the Joint Finance Committee for voting to approve $500 million in increased investments in public schools. The proposal addressed top priorities of the WASB including the $200/$204 per pupil increase in spendable resources, the first increase in special education categorical aid in more than a decade and increases for student mental health services. We also want to recognize the committee for helping historically low-spending districts by including an adjustment to the low-revenue ceiling. These items were important priorities on the WASB legislative agenda.
“Although $500 million is a significant investment, it is significantly less than what Gov. Tony Evers proposed ($1.4 billion) as well as less than what the Legislature approved in Gov. Scott Walker’s last budget ($635 million).
“We are hopeful the Legislature and Gov. Evers will continue to have discussions on the education budget. We look forward to working with all parties to meet the needs of all Wisconsin students.”