Lost, perhaps, amidst all the focus on candidates in statewide races in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll released last week were results that suggest voters are more open to investing more for schools than they are for roads. Taxes and spending for schools and roads have been key issues in the race for governor.
On the broad question of state taxes and state services, 51 percent of registered voters surveyed said they would rather pay higher taxes and have state government provide more services, while 42 percent said they prefer lower taxes and fewer services from the state.
Continue reading Are schools and roads on a collision course when it comes to funding?
As required by state statute, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has certified the general state aid amount each public school district will receive for the 2018-19 school year. These amounts are funded from the state’s $4.656 billion general state aid appropriation, which is $72.75 million (1.6 percent) larger than last year’s allocation.
Because of the overall increase in the general aid distribution this year, roughly 55 percent of the state’s public school districts (230 of 422) will receive more general state aid this school year than they did in 2017‑18. Continue reading DPI: Over half of districts to receive more general aid than last year
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gov. Scott Walker has pledged to restore the state’s commitment to cover two-thirds of school costs without raising property taxes. State Supt. Tony Evers, the Democratic challenger, promised the same when he released his education plan.
Two-thirds funding was a commitment established in state law in 1993 to reduce the burden on property taxes. This commitment was repealed in the 2003-05 state budget. In December 2017, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) estimated that state support in the 2017-18 school year would be 64.8%. With no per pupil adjustment to revenue limits and an infusion of per pupil categorical aid ($190 million) from the state and a modest increase in state general aid ($73 million), the percentage was projected by the LFB to increase to 65.8% in 2018-19.
It should be noted that returning to the state providing two-thirds funding alone does not necessarily mean additional resources for school districts. The way two-thirds funding is calculated, all of the increase from the state could go into levy credits, which would reduce property tax bills but would not increase school budgets one dime. Or if general aids are increased but revenue limits are not adjusted, it could simply mean a higher percentage of that capped amount would come from the state and the percentage from property taxes would decrease correspondingly.
State Superintendent Tony Evers delivered his 10th State of Education address but his first as a candidate for governor today at the state Capitol. He doubled down on his plan to invest $1.4 billion more (a 10% increase) for schools over two years in the next state budget. He also held a press briefing after the speech and discussed possible ways to pay for that plan. See – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel & Wisconsin State Journal coverage.
Read the entire speech here.
Below are selected excerpts: Continue reading State Supt. Evers delivers State of Education Address
The newest Marquette Law School Poll was released by Prof. Charles Franklin (pictured) on September 18 and it included an array of questions on various election and other issues. It featured K-12 education-related questions including the recurring question of increased school funding vs reducing property taxes:
This continues a trend of strong support for increased school spending: Continue reading MU Law Poll: continued strong support for increased K-12 funding
State Superintendent and candidate for governor Tony Evers is seeking a substantial increase for public schools in his agency’s budget request according to press reports. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pegs the additional amount at $1.4 billion.
A large portion of the increase will be devoted to special education funding and increases in other categorical aids. Another large portion of the increase is slated to go into general equalization aid to offset potential increases in local property tax levies that could stem from allowing state-imposed revenue limits to be adjusted for inflation and to hold districts harmless against losses. Continue reading Tony Evers seeking $1.4 billion increase for schools in DPI budget request
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is expected to formally submit its 2019-21 state budget request on Monday (Sept. 17).
At the heart of the proposal is likely to be a revised version of the “Fair Funding for Our Future” plan State Supt. Tony Evers has proposed in previous budget requests. In addition, the request is likely to call for a massive increase in state special education categorical aid as well as increases in state funding for school-based mental health services and additional relief for low revenue districts. Continue reading DPI expected to submit budget request on Sept. 17