Views on Wisconsin’s K-12 School Spending

Frank Lassee:

The third Friday of September is an important date for schools. On that day the final enrollment count is made, then each school district will move to finalize their annual budget. Having the school budgets final by mid October is important for all of us, especially property taxpayers.
Under current law, schools will be allowed to spend $264 more for each student than last year. That is what the Governor and Democratic Senators proposed, as well. The Assembly has shaved it back to $200 per kid each year of the budget (with an incentive of $264 if the teachers agree to negotiate for a less expensive health plan). Last year in Wisconsin, we spent almost $10 billion on our public schools, approximately $5 Billion of state taxes, $4 Billion of local property taxes and $1 Billion from the federal government.

Paul Soglin:

Wisconsin State Representative Frank Lasee (R-2nd) needs to go back to school. I suppose it is an intended public service that he tells us that, “Education is by far the single biggest expense of our state budget.”
O.K. Interesting information, but he never tells us what is the proper level of spending, or for that matter, why home owners should pay more so that businesses can pay less for education.
He makes additional observations such as the fact that, “Total spending divided by the number of teachers works out to nearly $150,000 for each teacher.”
Huh? What does that mean? Lasee thinks that the cost of busing kids to school or the cost of school books is to be measured by the cost per teacher. A figure as useful as knowing the cost of postage to mail a letter to the moon. Most of his comments continue with measures and data that are meaningless, either with no context or a useless context.

Much more on K-12 spending here.