Governor Tony Evers will formally introduce his 2019-21 budget proposal on Thursday, February 28, but over the weekend shared some previews of what will be included in that document. In the K-12 area, his budget will propose to freeze enrollment in the state’s private school voucher programs (including special needs vouchers) and suspend the expansion of independent charter schools.
Earlier, Gov. Evers had announced his proposed budget would aim to provide “more accountability and transparency” within the state’s private school voucher programs. As one aspect of this. Gov. Evers will propose including information on property tax bills about the state aid withheld from public school districts in which private voucher pupils reside and the impact this has on property taxes. Continue reading Gov. Evers will propose freeze on taxpayer-subsidized voucher programs and independent charter expansion
From a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) release:
The DPI has posted a list of the 84 schools that have registered to participate in the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) for the 2018-19 school year. The list includes 56 schools that will be new to the program. The application period begins July 1. Continue reading DPI: 84 schools to participate in special ed voucher program
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
The state’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines 12-4 on a GOP motion to expand the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) as part of the state budget bill. This program provides vouchers to enable students with disabilities to attend participating private schools with no income eligibility limits. Governor Walker did not propose expanding the program in his budget proposal. The following proposals adopted today (Sept. 6), and described below, are estimated to expand special needs voucher program participation by 250 pupils in 2018-19 and result in an over $3 million aid reduction to public school districts in 2018-19: Continue reading JFC Approves Special Needs Voucher Expansion
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
With the 2017-19 state budget now more than a month and a half overdue, increasing attention is being paid to the impact the delayed passage of the budget will have on schools, as evidenced by this Wisconsin State Journal article.
In a recent memo to members of the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC), the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has outlined the impact of the delay on various state school finance calculations for the 2017-18 school year, for public school districts, as well as private choice schools and independent charter schools.
Continue reading How Delayed State Budget May Impact School Districts
After a period of relative quiet, voucher proponents have been active, pushing variety of proposals that appear to have made it into the package of K-12 education items agreed upon by the Senate and Assembly, as reflected in the Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of the Senate Republican budget plan.
Here are some of the key provisions affecting voucher schools:
Statewide Voucher Program–Income Eligibility Limit: Increase the annual family income eligibility level, beginning in the 2018-19 school year, so that a pupil could participate in the statewide voucher program with a family income of less than 220 percent of the federal poverty level rather than less than 185 percent of FPL as under current law. (It is estimated that an additional 550 pupils could enter the statewide voucher program in 2018-19 as a result of this change.)
Continue reading Voucher Provisions in State Senate Republicans’ Budget Plan