School-funding update

Two gubernatorial candidates endorse school-funding reform
Check out the school-funding reform calendar
What’s new in the anti-TABOR toolbox?
School-funding reform calendar
The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (WAES) is a statewide network of educators, school board members, parents, community leaders, and researchers. Its Wisconsin Adequacy Plan — a proposal for school-finance reform — is the result of research into the cost of educating children to meet state proficiency standards.

Two gubernatorial candidates endorse school-funding reform
Speaking at separate events in Florence County, last week, Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, and his possible Republican opponent, Congressman Mark Green, both backed comprehensive school-funding reform while talking about the recent decision by the school board to dissolve the district (
According to Green, “every governor for the last couple of decades has recognized that the school-funding formula isn’t working, that it is collapsing on itself.” He said reform needs to be pushed by the governor because too many lawmakers represent districts that do well under the formula. You’ve got to have leadership from the man or woman who represents the entire state.”
For his part, Doyle said his budget addressed one significant cost to rural schools, transportation. He bemoaned, however, the Legislature’s failure to even include in the 2005-07 budget a change in the way enrollment is counted that “would have made several hundred thousand dollars difference in Florence.” “Republicans in the Legislature,” he said, “many of whom represent small school districts, never even gave it a hearing; just knocked it out.”
Check out the schol-funding reform calendar
As the school year begins, the pace of WAES school-funding reform presentations picks up throughout the state, with events scheduled in the next two months including Kenosha, Madison, Kelly Lake, Merrill, and Baraboo … among others.
The full schedule is at the end of this e-mail update. If you need more information on any event, give me a call or e-mail.
It’s also time for you to sign up for a presentation and get involved in the school-funding reform effort. All you have to do to get the ball rolling is go to and click on “About WAES” and then on “Sign up for a free presentation.” It’s as easy as that.
What’s new in the anti-TABOR toolbox?
The revenue limits put on Wisconsin’s public schools back in 1993 have had a devastating affect on many schools and children. Despite that track record, there are a handful of state legislators and others who want to make it worse.
This group is trying to amend the state constitution in order to force every unit of state and local government to freeze spending at current levels. Known as TABOR (which stands, facetiously, for Taxpayers Bill of Rights), the amendment, if passed would also allow any local government to ignore any new state law that isn’t “paid for.” TABOR has been in Colorado’s constitution since 1992, and residents in that state are now facing serious problems because there is not enough money to run state operations effectively.
If TABOR should ever go into effect in Wisconsin, hope for needed school-funding reform will be dashed. To learn what you can do to fight for local control, top-notch state and local government services, and adequate school funding, go to, click on “Projects,” then on “Taxes,” and, finally, on “TABOR.”
School-funding reform calendar
Sept. 21 — “Building Community Support for School-finance Reform” discussion for public school superintendents at the “Red Gym,” 716 Langdon Steet, Madison (next to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union), 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. (contact Tom Beebe, 414-384-9094 or
Sept. 22 — School-funding reform presentation at 7 p.m. at the North Side Public Library in Kenosha (sponsored by the Kenosha/Racine AAUW)
Sept. 23 — School-funding presentation at the Wisconsin Valley Business Officials, Building & Grounds Supervisors and Food Supervisors meeting, 9 a.m., Club 64, Merrill
Sept. 27 — School-funding reform discussion with the Board of Directors and State Legislative Committee of the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association, Baraboo
Oct. 1 — School-funding reform presentation at the Wisconsin PTA Leadership Conference in Racine (go to and click on “Conference Registration”)
Oct. 5 — School-funding reform discussion at staff inservice for the Baraboo School District, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Jack Young Middle School
Oct. 13-14 — School-funding reform presentations for the Northwestern Wisconsin Education Association at Eau Claire Memorial High School, 2225 Keith Street (presentations at 12:25 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 14)
Oct. 18 — School-funding reform presentation fo Grassroots of Waukesha County, 7 p.m.
Nov. 16 — School-funding reform presentation at the “Taking Care of Business” presentation of the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials in Pewaukee
Please feel free to share your copy of the WAES school-funding update with anyone interested in school-finance reform. Contact Tom Beebe ( at 414-384-9094 for details.

Tom Beebe, Outreach Specialist
Institute for Wisconsin’s Future
1717 South 12th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-384-9094 (office)
920-650-0525 (cell)