Yesterday, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated revenue estimates indicating the state will end the 2017-19 budget cycle with an estimated ending balance of $928.7 million, $312.2 million higher than had been forecast earlier.
That is positive news as the additional revenue could be used to increase state aid to schools. However, because most of the additional $753 million in state revenue will be collected in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, achieving such aid increases will require strong advocacy from school leaders, parents and other education proponents.
In a memo to the JFC Co-Chairs, the LFB said: “Based on our review of collections data and the economic forecast, we now believe that general fund taxes will be higher than the previous estimates by $592 million in 2018-19, $68 million in 2019-20, and $93 million in 2020-21. The three-year increase is $753 million, or 1.5%.” Continue reading New state revenue estimates up sharply, but increase is mostly one-time money
From Patrick Marley and Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“Now cemented in place as adversaries, the three most powerful people in Wisconsin’s divided government must decide how much money to spend on vital services like schools and transportation.
“But they’re barely talking.
“Barring a breakthrough in negotiations, the state is on a path to adopt a state budget that won’t include anything new, including the education and health-care proposals that propelled Evers to victory in November.”
Read More: In divided Wisconsin, the governor and legislative leaders are barely talking
Governor Tony Evers’ proposed state budget makes a number of school funding changes that are in addition to the “Fair Funding for our Future” reforms.
For example, in addition to an unprecedented increase in special education categorical aid (see previous post), the proposed budget also calls for per pupil increases in both school district revenue limits ($200 in 2019-20 and $204 in 2020-21) and the low revenue ceiling (to $9,700 in 2019-20 and to $10,000 in 2020-21).
Continue reading Additional LFB memo details impacts of four specific funding changes in governor’s proposed budget
The WASB has obtained updated information on the fiscal impact of Gov. Evers’ funding reform proposal on each school district. (See links below.)
The updated printout, generated by the DPI, provides information sorted alphabetically by district name and reflects both October 15th aid certification data for each district for 2018-19 and the School Levy Tax Credit amounts per district for 2018-19.
Fair Funding March 2019 FY19 Final Display By District Alpha Oct 15
Continue reading Updated district-by-district information on Gov. Evers’ school funding reform proposal
Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget calls for significant increases in state special education categorical (SPED) aid that would enable 30% of special education costs to be reimbursed in 2019-20 and 60% in 2020-21.
The current SPED aid amount is estimated to reimburse about 25.3% of special education costs eligible for reimbursement in 2018-19. Without an increase, the reimbursement rate is projected to drop below 25% in the future. Continue reading LFB memo details impact of special education aid increase in governor’s proposed budget
Gov. Evers’ proposed 2019-21 state budget has been introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 (and as 2019 Assembly Bill 56).
Key selected highlights of the governor’s K-12 education budget include the following:
School Funding Reform Provisions Continue reading Selected highlights of Gov. Evers’ K-12 education budget
WASB Executive Director John Ashley issued the following statement in reaction to Gov. Evers’ 2019-21 state budget proposal:
The WASB commends Gov. Tony Evers for proposing a state budget that includes a significant boost in state investment in our K-12 public schools as well as important reforms to our school funding formula.
Additional and substantial state investments are critical to ensuring that our state’s 421 school districts can serve our 860,000 students appropriately and equitably.
The continued broad public support for greater investment in public education shown in statewide opinion surveys, the continued willingness of local voters to support school-related referenda, and the strong public interest in the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding all suggest that now is the time to make significant improvements in the way our state funds its public schools.
We thank Gov. Evers for prioritizing public education in his state budget proposal and pledge to work with him and the state Legislature to secure support for a final state budget that provides the critical resources our school districts need.