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
At a Capitol press conference, Senate Republicans today released key details behind their budget proposal and a set of memos from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau summarizing the plan.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that the Senate GOP proposal includes all actions taken by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) through June 15, plus what his caucus worked on as well as the agreements the Senate has reached with the Assembly on K-12 funding. Fitzgerald sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asking for the Assembly GOP’s response to the Senate proposal in the hope that the JFC can meet and complete all outstanding issues in one session.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest state budget plan increases money for schools, but local taxpayers share costs
Among the key K-12 provisions affecting public schools are the following: Continue reading State Senate Republicans Unveil Budget Plan
WASB issued a joint memo to the Governor and Legislature along with the following K-12 groups: the School Administrators Alliance (SAA), the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) and the Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance (SWSA).
The key message is we collectively support both the $200/$204 increases in per pupil categorical aid for all school districts and a significant increase in the low revenue ceiling to allow historically low-spending districts to raise revenue locally.
See the joint memo HERE.
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
The Assembly Republican school funding plan includes provisions we support and it is a positive sign that Assembly GOP legislators recognize the need to increase state aid for school districts. We appreciate and strongly support removing the “strings” of the healthcare cost shift mandate and how funding needs to be budgeted per school building to receive the proposed increases in per-pupil aid. The WASB also supports raising the low-revenue ceiling to help historically low-spending districts and increased funding for high cost special education aid. There are a wide range of other provisions included in the proposal that we are still reviewing.
However, we are concerned that this plan backs away from the governor’s proposed per-pupil categorical aid investments. The WASB does do not support reducing the governor’s proposed increase by $50 per pupil in 2017-18. The governor’s original proposal, for the first time in several budgets, provides nearly an inflationary increase in state aid to almost all school districts in the state.
Overall, we hope legislators will support the governor’s investments in per-pupil aid at the $200 and $204 per pupil level while also supporting local control and incorporating the positive proposals from the Assembly GOP on the low- revenue ceiling.
-John H. Ashley is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards
Gov. Scott Walker is urging his Republican colleagues in the state Legislature to use his funding plan for K-12 schools, and not consider a zero-increase proposal being floated by some critics.
The governor (pictured at left alongside state Rep. Scott Allen (R- Waukesha) warned that working off a base budget for schools could mean schools would see substantially less than he’s proposed. (See previous post/WASB alert.) Continue reading Gov. Walker Urges JFC Members to Build From His K-12 Education Aid Proposal
The powerful Joint Finance Committee kicks off its public hearings in the on the proposed 2017-19 state budget next week with three day-long hearings in Platteville (Monday, March 3); West Allis (Wednesday, March 5); and Berlin (Friday, March 7).
With many interests competing for scarce budget dollars, school leaders need to make their voices heard. These hearings are your perfect chance.
The start times and specific locations for the hearings are as follows (view Notice):
- UW-Platteville (Ullsvick Hall), April 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
30 South Hickory Street Platteville, WI 53818 (Chris)
- State Fair Park (Exposition Center), April 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
8200 West Greenfield Avenue West Allis, WI 53214 (Dan)
- Berlin High School (Auditorium), April 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
222 Memorial Drive Berlin, WI 54923 (Chris)
Continue reading JFC Public Hearings on Budget Start Next Week in Platteville, West Allis & Berlin