Although the state Senate will still meet at least one more time this session and we expect it to pass additional bills, here is a list of the bills affecting public K-12 education that have passed both houses and are ready to be delivered to Governor Walker’s desk:
During last week’s State Education Convention, state Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), who co-chairs the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, shared information about the Commission’s mission and schedule, including a memo outlining the scope of the Commission’s directive.
According to the Blue Ribbon Commission’s Scope Statement, the Commission is tasked with evaluating the following items:
The state Senate and Assembly are set to be on the floor again this week and next week. This is the last scheduled floor period during calendar 2017. Once it concludes, neither house will meet again until January.
Although the floor session is scheduled to begin on Oct. 31 and run until Nov. 9, neither house will meet on every available day during the floor session.
The state Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Oct. 31, and Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The state Assembly will be in session on Thursday, Nov. 2, and Thursday, Nov. 9. Assembly members have also been told to keep Tuesday, Nov. 7, open for a potential session day.
Three remaining floorperiods are scheduled, each of them two weeks long, in January, February and March. However, there is talk of wrapping up the 2017-18 legislative session early in 2018 so that, among other things, legislators can focus on their districts in preparation for November’s election.
Governor Walker has announced his budget vetoes including eight vetoes relating to K-12 education. The most notable veto is the veto of the relief for low revenue districts. The language below is taken directly from the “Governor’s Veto Message in Brief“:
Low Revenue Ceiling
“”I am vetoing this section entirely because the result is a substantial increase in property tax capacity that school districts may exercise without voter input. In several school districts that would be eligible to raise taxes under these sections, referenda to exceed revenue limits already failed within the past two years. An increase in revenue authority from the state in these districts would circumvent purposeful, local actions. Continue reading Gov. Walker Announces Budget Vetoes Including Low Revenue Ceiling Increase
The Senate Committee on Education, chaired by state Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), has scheduled a public hearing on a number of bills dealing with financial literacy, hours of instruction, summer school funding, pupil data and more.
Here are the details and the bills that are on the agenda: Continue reading Financial Literacy, Hours of Instruction, Summer School Funding and More on Senate Education Hearing Agenda
Assembly Bill 398, authored by Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) and sponsored by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) would expand the scope of online summer or interim session classes that qualify for state aid to include classes the school board determines fulfill either a statutory graduation requirement in health education or that meet its own requirements to count toward the number of credits the school board requires for graduation. Under the bill, online classes in any combination of vocational education, foreign languages, fine arts, and other courses that the school board determines meet its requirements for high school graduation would be eligible for state aid. Continue reading WASB Testifies on Summer School Funding & Firearm Safety Curriculum Bills
State Superintendent Tony Evers today (Nov. 15) submitted his 2017-19 budget request to Governor Walker which delineates the Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) top fiscal priorities for schools: fund schools, meet mental health needs, support rural schools, and expand summer learning.
In total, the budget request amounts to a $707 million increase in funding over the biennium, not including legislated automatic increases for vouchers and independent charter schools. Over $500 million of that figure goes toward general school aids to provide property tax relief and to implement the “Fair Funding for Our Future” plan Evers has championed. The remaining roughly $200 million is targeted toward programs that directly impact the needs of students. Continue reading DPI Budget Priorities: Funding, Mental Health, Rural Schools, Summer Learning