Partial Government Shutdown Continues as New Congress Begins
The 116th Congress convened last week and the House immediately turned attention to approving an appropriations bill designed to end the partial government shutdown, triggered by the White House’s budget request for $5 billion to expand the southern border wall. The House measure, approved Thursday evening (Jan. 3), did not include funding for wall. The House vote shifts the budget debate back to the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that he will not bring any Fiscal Year 2019 legislation to the Senate floor that does not have the President’s support. Continue reading How will partial federal government shutdown affect K-12 schools, students?
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
Last week the Department of Public Instruction released state school and school district report cards for the 422 school districts in existence when 2017-18 data was gathered. (There are now 421 school districts due to a consolidation.)
Editor’s Note: Wisconsin has two accountability systems. Our federal accountability system was purposely designed to address just the lowest-performing schools in the state. State policymakers wanted to keep the existing state accountability system as one under which no federal permissions would be needed, hence two systems.
Continue reading Do state school report cards tell us much we don’t already know?
Over 96 percent of Wisconsin school districts met or exceeded state expectations in 2017-18, according to school and district report cards released by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). In addition, nearly 84 percent of individual public schools met or exceeded state expectations. Both figures reflect an improvement over the previous year (2016-17). Continue reading More schools and districts meet or exceed state expectations
One of the funding reforms State Supt. Tony Evers has advanced in the DPI’s 2017-19 budget request to the governor would “weight” the per-pupil categorical aid to account for students in poverty, students learning English, and students in foster care. Each student in one of these categories would be counted as 1.2 students and would thus capture additional funding for their school districts.
This is a new proposal that has not been a part of previous “Fair Funding” plans.
Weighting pupils in this manner will result in districts receiving additional funding for each pupil in these categories. Furthermore, each weight in this calculation would be additive.
Continue reading State Supt. Proposes Changes to Per Pupil Aid as Part of Budget Request
The following are the resolutions adopted by member school boards and submitted before the Sept 15 deadline to the WASB for review by the Policy & Resolutions Committee. The committee meets for the first time Sept 30-Oct 1.
The committee determines which resolutions to recommend be advanced to the Delegate Assembly, which meets annually at the time of the State Education Convention in January. If approved by the Delegate Assembly, the resolutions become the official positions of the WASB. Resolutions turned down by the committee are still afforded an opportunity to be brought to the Delegate Assembly floor under the WASB’s Bylaws. Continue reading The Resolutions Submitted by School Boards for Policy and Resolutions Committee Review
A new study commissioned by the Association for Equity in Funding (AEF) finds disparities in school funding among school districts with vastly different student demographics have negative effects on student outcome measures such as scores on school and district report cards.
The study, unveiled today Sept. 14 at a state Capitol press conference, is a follow-up to an earlier study that developed a “Funding Disparity Ranking” of Wisconsin public schools that allows an “apples-to-apples” comparison of school district funding and spending capacity. The new study sought to answer the question of whether Wisconsin’s school funding system and resulting disparity between districts (as measured by the “Funding Disparity Rank”) has a direct impact on student performance and outcomes. Continue reading New AEF Study: School Funding Disparity Harms Student Outcomes & Opportunities