The Joint Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the state budget last night. As part of that final session, the GOP JFC members approved a significant expansion of special needs vouchers as well as a final wrap up motion that included a provision on special needs open enrollment payments (see below).
The budget now heads to the Assembly for a floor vote on Wednesday, Sept. 13 with a Senate vote expected soon afterwards. After an identical version passes both houses, Gov. Scott Walker has the opportunity to use his powerful veto pen to make final modifications. The Legislature has the power to override any veto with a two-thirds majority vote by both houses. Continue reading Budget Committee Wraps Up Budget Work
A potentially significant change to the way amounts transferred for the open enrollment of special education pupils and the aid deduction for special needs voucher pupils are calculated has been proposed and is scheduled for discussion and a possible vote by the JFC next Tuesday (Sept. 5).
We had previously shared language with you that was included in the Assembly GOP Education Package released in June. We assume the changes allegedly being sought are similar in nature: Continue reading Budget Committee to Act on Special Needs Vouchers/Open Enrollment on Sept. 5
The budget plan approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) this week will gradually increase the open enrollment transfer amount for regular education pupils over the next several years.
Open Enrollment Aid Transfer Amount – Regular Education–the aid transfer amount would increase by $100 per pupil each year from 2017-18 through 2020-21 above any increase provided under the current law indexing mechanism. Under current law, the aid transfer amount is equal to the sum of the aid transfer amount in the previous year plus the per pupil revenue limit adjustment for the current year, if positive, plus the change in the amount of statewide per pupil categorical aid between the previous year and the current year, if positive.
Continue reading JFC Budget Increases Open Enrollment Transfer Amount
Here we compare the Senate Republican plan released on July 12 and the Assembly Republican plan released on June 6 on some of the major K-12 provisions in the state budget bill and the WASB position on those provisions:
Per-Pupil Categorical Aid
Senate/Governor: Increase per-pupil aid $200 in 2017-18 and $204 in 2018-19.
Assembly: Increase per-pupil aid $150 in 2017-18 and $200 in 2018-19.
WASB: has supported the $200/$204 per pupil increase since it was first proposed by the Governor. Continue reading Comparing Senate, Assembly GOP K-12 Budget Plans
In a Capitol news conference yesterday (June 6), state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester, pictured) and other Assembly GOP leaders unveiled their K-12 funding plan, which was described by Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Co-Chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) as setting forth a bargaining position from which to begin negotiations with the state Senate.
The $580 million plan provides public schools with about $90 million less state funding than Governor Walkers’ $649 million budget proposal and would not meet the governor’s long-stared goal that December 2018 property tax bills on the “hypothetical” median-valued home with the median tax rate in the state are lower than the December 2014 tax bill on the equivalent home.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau, pictured) released a statement even before the Assembly GOP news conference began saying his caucus “remains committed fully funding K-12 education as Governor Walker’s proposed” and adding that the Assembly GOP plan “is simply not the direction that this budget is headed.”
Here are details on the Assembly plan: Continue reading Assembly GOP Releases Sweeping Pre-K-12 Funding Plan; Senate GOP Leader Labels Proposal a Non-Starter
Among the hundreds of items included in Gov. Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget are a number of provisions intended to provide “flexibility” to school boards and districts by repealing or modifying certain mandates on preK-12 education.
The governor’s proposed budget would:
Continue reading Governor’s Budget Provides “Flexibilities” to School Boards, Districts
Late last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced 2016-17 enrollment figures for the state’s various private school voucher programs. This included the first year of the Special Needs Scholarship (voucher) Program and the Wisconsin, Racine, and Milwaukee voucher programs.
Altogether, the state will spend nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($244 million) in 2016-17 on the various voucher programs it has authorized. This post examines the scope and impact of special needs vouchers. Continue reading Fiscal Impact of Special Needs Vouchers Hits Declining Enrollment Districts Doubly Hard