The Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding met for the first time yesterday (Dec. 14), holding an informational public hearing that featured presentations from the staff of the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) as well as the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Those presentations led to a lively question and answer session between presenters and Commission members.
The entire hearing was broadcast live on Wisconsin Eye, our state’s version of C-SPAN. A video recording of the entire hearing should be uploaded to the Wisconsin Eye website and available for viewing on Monday.
Continue reading Commission Begins Tackling Wisconsin School Funding
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released its annual memorandum providing information on the calculation of general school aids and the aid amounts to be received by each school district in the 2017-18 school year.
The LFB memo provides information on each districts’ pupil membership, adjusted equalized value per member, shared cost per member, general equalization aid eligibility, and net general school aid payment. A separate attachment indicates the amounts received by districts eligible for high poverty aid.
The figures provided in the LFB memo reflect the DPI’s October 15 aid calculation. As a result, the memo indicates each districts’ general aid reduction attributable to independent charters schools, and MPS’ aid reduction for the Milwaukee voucher program. However, the memo does not indicate the reductions in districts’ aid attributable to having resident pupils within their boundaries who first participated in either the Statewide or Racine voucher programs in 2015-16 or later. State statutes specify that these aid reductions are not shown in DPI’s October 15 aid calculation.
View LFB Memo– 2017-18 General School Aids Amounts for All School Districts
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) recently released its annual memo estimating state support for K-12 education in the previous school year. The memo provides information on the estimated level of state support provided for K-12 education statewide and to individual school districts in the 2016-17 school year.
Continue reading Figures on State Support for K-12 Education, Public School Districts Released
The costs of Wisconsin’s three voucher programs (Milwaukee, Racine and Statewide) will reach just under $270 million in the current 2017-18 school year, according to figures released today by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), which oversee the state’s voucher programs.
The costs of voucher programs will jump by $25 million this year over the previous (2016-17) school year.
In addition, public school districts across the state will have their state aid reduced by nearly $43 million to pay the costs of voucher students who reside in their districts and who first enrolled in and participated in the Statewide or Racine voucher programs in 2015-16 or later. These students are referred to in state law as “incoming” voucher pupils. Continue reading Statewide Tab for Private School Vouchers Reaches $270 Million
Fears that the state might not be able to comfortably afford the sizable increase in state school aids approved in the 2017-19 state budget may be eased by news that Wisconsin closed its fiscal year on June 30 with a larger than expected ending balance.
The state ended Fiscal Year 2017 with a $579 million surplus in its main account, the second largest closing balance since 2000. That figure was up $112 million from the previous projection of $467 million as revenues were up and spending was down from earlier forecasts.
Continue reading State Finishes Fiscal Year With Better Than Expected Ending Balance
By October 15 of each year, the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is statutorily required to compute General Equalization Aids for the current school year for each public school district in the state using the most accurate (i.e., audited) data available from each district’s prior fiscal year Annual Report, September and January Membership Reports and equalized property valuations as certified by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) for the prior calendar year. The resulting aid amounts–modified by the prior year (in this case, 2016-17) final aid eligibility adjustments–are paid to districts during the current fiscal year (2017-18).
Because October 15 falls on a Sunday this year, the DPI has released this information to school districts on the last weekday before the 15th. As a result, the October 15 General School Aid Certifications for all school districts for the 2017-18 school year are now available online at: http://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/aid/general/summary.
Continue reading DPI Releases 2017-18 General Aid Certification for School Districts
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