Nearly nine months ago, the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding issued its recommendations. Ever since, school leaders have been waiting patiently for those recommendations to be put forward as legislation.
Recently, however, a number of bills have been put forward to implement recommendations made by the Commission. Several are described below:
Senate Bill 182 and Assembly Bill 196, a pair of companion bills authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz), would expand eligibility for sparsity aid in a way that mirrors the recommendations made by both the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Rural Schools Task Force (2013). (See Recommendation #2 under Sparsity Aid on page 7 of the Commission Report.)
Continue reading Bills Reflecting Blue Ribbon Commission Recommendations Are Being Advanced
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 state budget package approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) also includes funding to provide incentives for school districts to consolidate, share whole grades, and share administrative services.
Consolidation Aid–The JFC-approved K-12 package creates a new sum-sufficient (state moneys will be provided sufficient to fully fund aid demands) appropriation to provide categorical aid funding for two or more school districts that consolidate into one district. Districts could qualify for aid equal to $150 per pupil attending school in the consolidated district for the first five years after the consolidation. In the sixth year the district would qualify for 50% the fifth year amount. In the seventh year, districts would qualify for 25% of the fifth year amount. (Categorical aid is received outside the revenue limits.) Continue reading JFC Budget Includes Incentives for Consolidation, Shared Grades/Services
The 2015-17 state budget act (Act 55) included a new option for school boards to consider when determining how to best provide educational services to students.
Whole Grade Sharing (WGS) authorizes school boards of two or more school districts to enter into an agreement to provide for the education of students, in one or more grades from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, by one or the other of the districts for all or a substantial portion of the school day. Continue reading Whole Grade Sharing May Be an Option for Districts to Consider
Today, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released the list of non-fiscal policy items contained within the proposed 2015-2017 State Budget. The list is comprised of items that generally have no state fiscal effect and have a policy implication. Included in the list are provisions relating to:
- Making school district participation in CESAs voluntary.
District Operations/Standards Continue reading LFB Identifies Non-Fiscal Policy Items in Budget Proposal