Gwyn Guenther of theWheelerReport.com reported on her podcast (Wheelercast #8) that because of scheduling conflicts the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will likely not be able to meet again to take up the remaining parts of the state budget and the Foxconn incentive bill until the week of August 21st. Summer post-budget is typically when many lawmakers are on family vacations or travelling to national conferences to network with colleagues from other states.
While the GOP Senate and Assembly have disagreed on whether the budget or Foxconn bill should be taken up first, it is likely that both will move forward concurrently.
The state Senate’s K-12 funding package unveiled on July 18 (see previous post) contains an especially troubling referendum-related provision that has not been previously considered by the Legislature. The July 18 package was the first time it was made public.
The provision specifically targets low-property-wealth-per-pupil districts and impacts their ability to receive state aid. As described in the Senate package, going forward, it would exclude from “shared cost” any amount levied by a district in a prior year for either operating or debt service costs that were authorized by a referendum if doing so would not increase the district’s equalization aid entitlement. The provision first applies to referenda held after the budget bill becomes law. Continue reading Senate K-12 Provision Would Disadvantage Poorer School Districts, Distort Key Principle of Equalization Aid Formula
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
The WASB Summer Leadership Institute is this Friday & Saturday (July 14-15) in Green Bay. The event will kick off with a networking dinner and inspiring keynote speaker and former Packer George E. Koonce, Jr. on Friday evening. Saturday will feature three tracks of programming focusing on:
–the fundamentals of board governance for members in their first term of office;
–advanced board governance for more experienced members; and
–a mix of popular topics featuring engagement at each level – with fellow board members, students, staff and the community.
At the conclusion of the event, all tracks will conclude with a legislative/budget update from Government Relations Director Dan Rossmiller. Dan will share details of what Capitol sources indicate the Senate and Assembly have agreed on (as well as predictions on what they are likely to agree on) and will be included in the Joint Finance Committee K-12 budget. Will the Governor’s proposed per pupil aid increases survive intact? What about help for low-spending districts? Sparsity aid? Voucher expansion? Attend the legislative/budget update session at 2:30 p.m. to find out.
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend in Green Bay!
The state budget impasse continues as Senate and Assembly GOP leaders continue to disagree on the amount of borrowing for road projects. Gov. Walker issued a letter to GOP legislative leaders proposing a compromise deal based on procuring additional Federal dollars to help fund highway projects. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, on the K-12 front it appears the sides are a lot closer to reaching a deal:
“An agreement among lawmakers could be near on another budget sticking point — funding for K-12 schools, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Thursday. Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said it’s possible the Legislature’s budget committee could reconvene soon, for the first time in nearly a month, to take up school funding.” Continue reading Budget Impasse Continues but K-12 Agreement May Be Close
As required by law, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) today released July 1 estimates of general aid to be received by school districts in 2017-18. These estimates are subject to change but can be instructive for budget and planning purposes. Official general aid amounts are certified on October 15.
From the Department of Public Instruction (DPI):
“A little over half of Wisconsin public school districts will receive less general aid in the 2017-18 school year than they did for the 2016-17 school year according to estimates released today by the Department of Public Instruction. Continue reading DPI Releases July 1 General Aid Estimate
The newest Marquette Law School Poll was released by Prof. Charles Franklin (pictured) on June 28 and it asked state residents what were their top priorities for additional state spending among major state budget items. K-12 education clearly stood out as the top state budget priority:
Continue reading MU Law Poll: K-12 Education Top Budget Priority