A Look at Wisconsin State Tax Funded K-12 Spending

TJ Mertz:

Not only is one time revenue being used for ongoing expenses (which may be acceptable in these economic circumstance), but all this revenue is being used to offset state funds. When combined with the “current law” revenue cap increases estimated at $277 and $286 per member for the two years, this shifts the burden to local property taxpayers in significant ways.
However things go down, the state will move further from the 2/3 support concept and consequently the local property tax portion of school revenues will be increasing at a faster rate than the state portion (unless districts don’t tax to the limit, but that has some bad effects in subsequent years). I am still confused about the Governor’s and the LFB thoughts on IDEA and Title I, which appear to be at least partially contrary to the “supplement not supplant” provisions. I do know that there is lobbying going on from many quarters to expand the loopholes and allow more of the stimulus money to be used to fund existing, not expanded programs and services.
There are also some positives. Revenue cap increases are included at past levels, school safety, nurses and transportation are eased; the low revenue ceiling is raised, Special Education isn’t actually cut, SAGE and 4 K are given increases, albeit insufficient ones. It could be worse.