Nearly nine months ago, the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding issued its recommendations. Ever since, school leaders have been waiting patiently for those recommendations to be put forward as legislation.
Recently, however, a number of bills have been put forward to implement recommendations made by the Commission. Several are described below:
Senate Bill 182 and Assembly Bill 196, a pair of companion bills authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz), would expand eligibility for sparsity aid in a way that mirrors the recommendations made by both the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Rural Schools Task Force (2013). (See Recommendation #2 under Sparsity Aid on page 7 of the Commission Report.)
Continue reading Bills Reflecting Blue Ribbon Commission Recommendations Are Being Advanced
While our main focus so far this legislative session has been on the state budget, separate legislation impacting school districts continue to be introduced. We are continually updating our WASB State Bill Tracking Chart as new bills are released so please check it regularly.
The chart can be found on the header menu of this blog under “WASB Resources” and on our main website, WASB.org, under Services & Resources>>>Advocacy & Government Relations>>>State Bill Tracking Chart.
Examples of some recently added bills include: Continue reading WASB Bill Tracking Chart updated with non-budget legislation
Governor Tony Evers’ proposed state budget makes a number of school funding changes that are in addition to the “Fair Funding for our Future” reforms.
For example, in addition to an unprecedented increase in special education categorical aid (see previous post), the proposed budget also calls for per pupil increases in both school district revenue limits ($200 in 2019-20 and $204 in 2020-21) and the low revenue ceiling (to $9,700 in 2019-20 and to $10,000 in 2020-21).
Continue reading Additional LFB memo details impacts of four specific funding changes in governor’s proposed budget
When the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding held its final meeting on Dec. 19, it was clear that the voices of school leaders who testified at hearings held around the state and those who submitted written comments were heard. As Commission members worked their way through option papers on various school funding topics, the stories school leaders told were frequently cited.
See Statements from the co-chairs: Rep. Kitchens; Sen. Olsen
In the same way school leaders advocated effectively to persuade the legislators who were members of the Commission, now it will be time for school leaders to advocate with their own legislators to ensure these vital recommendations become law. Continue reading School voices heard by commission but the real work is just beginning
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
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has announced the 145 school districts that will be receiving state sparsity aid payments of $400 per member (student) in the 2018-19 school year. Sparsity aid payments are made on the third Monday in September to small, sparsely populated school districts that have fewer than 10 members (students) per square mile and fewer than 745 total members (students). Continue reading 145 districts to receive sparsity aid payments
The Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding held its seventh public hearing yesterday in Tomahawk and a number of themes emerged.
One common theme is that many northern Wisconsin school districts are challenged by declining enrollment. This has two main effects: first, it reduces districts’ revenue limit authority because revenue limits are tied to enrollment; and second, as the number of pupils decreases, at any given level of property values, a district will appear more property wealthy on a per pupil basis, which results in that district losing state aid under the general aid formula. Continue reading Several themes heard at Blue Ribbon Commission hearing in Tomahawk