Charter schools are public, nonsectarian schools created through a businesslike contract or “charter” between the charter governance board and the sponsoring school board or other chartering authority. The charter defines the missions and methods of the charter school. The chartering authority holds the school accountable to its charter.
Throughout the history of charter schools in Wisconsin it has been local school boards which have authorized or sponsored the vast bulk of charter schools in Wisconsin and to which charter schools are accountable. That could be about to change in a big way. Continue reading JFC Budget Would Broadly Expand Independent Charter Schools’ Reach
The Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness has issued its long-awaited report. The brief, six-page report summarizes testimony and ideas provided to the task force over the course of five meetings and presents the chair’s recommendations for potential legislative action.
The task force was created by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and was chaired by state Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford, pictured). Its mission was to explore new ways to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue careers in the trades, manufacturing industry, and technical fields.
Recommendations put forward by the task force chair include: Continue reading Youth Workforce Readiness Task Force Issues Report
Every October, state government issues its Annual Fiscal Report (AFR) for the fiscal year ending the prior June 30. The latest AFR shows Wisconsin closed its books for the 2014-15 state fiscal year with a general fund surplus of $135.6 million. Compared to annual general fund spending of $15.5 billion, that surplus is a modest amount. However, notes the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), compared to the $283.4 million deficit forecast last January, this is a noticeable improvement.
The state’s general fund comes largely from income and sales tax receipts. The AFR showed that the state’s 2014-15 general tax collections grew by $593.1 million (4.3 percent) over the previous year, which WISTAX notes is moderate in historic terms. Continue reading State Fiscal Report Shows Where the Money Comes From and Where It Goes
Although most of the key decisions on K-12 education issues are not expected to be made by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) until next week, a decision coming up on Thursday could have a profound impact on K-12 school funding options for the next two years.
JFC members are set to take up a budget issue paper (Paper #595) prepared by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau that outlines several alternative uses for funding included in the proposed budget to increase the School Levy Tax Credit. Historically, this credit is used to reduce tax bills in December of one year but is paid out in July of the following year, which moves the payment into the state’s next fiscal year.
Note: In a WASB Legislative Alert that went out last week, we noted that there is funding already in the proposed budget that could be used to increase resources for schools. The $211.2 currently allocated to increase this credit is one of the main sources of funding we were referencing.
Continue reading Joint Finance Set To Act on School Levy Tax Credit Allocation