State Superintendent Tony Evers wants to boost funding for Wisconsin’s K-12 schools by $613 million in the next biennial budget, combined with increases to the amount of money schools can raise in local taxes, and a new way of funding the Milwaukee voucher program.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s 2015-’17 budget request released Monday kicks off the conversation about the future of public school funding, ahead of Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature putting together the biennial state budget in early 2015.
But the newly elected Legislature is even more conservative than the previous two Legislatures — neither of which warmed to Evers’ similar “Fair Funding for our Future” budget proposals in 2010 and 2012.
“This is our third kick at the cat to get Fair Funding passed,” said DPI spokesman John Johnson.
The proposal calls for a 2.5% increase in state aid in the first year of the budget, which Johnson said would put the state back on track from the education cuts in the last four years. The 2016-’17 school year would see an even larger increase, 4.9%, in state aid. In total, that accounts for a $453 million increase in general school aid, according to the DPI.
The plan also calls for a $160 million increase in separate aid for specific uses, known as categorical aid.
More significant for school districts is Evers’ aim to increase the revenue limit — or the amount districts can raise in state aid and local property taxes — by $200 per pupil in 2015-’16 and $204 per pupil in 2016-’17.
Current state law calls for no increase to the revenue limit in 2015-’16 and thereafter, according to the DPI.
The DPI wants to tie the revenue limit increase each year to the rate of inflation.
Props to Molly Beck for including total spending. Ideally, the article would incorporate performance information…
Wisconsin’s K-12 taxes & spending have increased substantially over the years. Outcomes