Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% (10%?) more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.

Jessie Opoien:

Evers, a Democrat, is asking for $1.4 billion in additional funds for the state’s K-12 schools in the 2019-21 budget. The $15.4 billion request, submitted by Evers on Monday, comes less than two months before Walker and Evers will meet on the ballot — and Evers’ budget letter includes a swipe at the governor.

“Wisconsin has a proud history and tradition of strong public schools. Our state’s education system — from early childhood through higher education — has served as the pathway to prosperity for generations of Wisconsinites and the key to a skilled workforce and strong economy,” Evers wrote. “In recent years, however, historic cuts to education have impeded our progress.”

Evers’ budget request includes $606 million in new funding for special education programs, bringing funding for the programs up to $900 million by 2021. It also dedicates an additional $58 million to mental health programs, and an additional $41 million for bilingual-bicultural programs.

The DPI budget would also expand and fund new programs in the state’s five largest school districts — Milwaukee, Kenosha, Green Bay, Madison and Racine — which have disproportionate shares of students with significant achievement gaps. The proposals targeted toward those districts include expanding summer school grants, offering new funding for 3K programs and offering extra funding to National Board certified teachers who teach in high-poverty schools in those five districts.

The amounts noted above exclude substantial local taxpayer property taxes, redistributed federal taxpayer dollars and various grants. (The proposed taxpayer expenditure increase was 12.3% a few days ago).

Madison has benefited substantially from a $38B+ federal taxpayer electronic medical record subsidy.

Madison spends far more than most, nearly $20k per student.

Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), lead for years by Mr. Evers, has killed our one (!) attempt to follow Massachusetts’ successful teacher content knowledge requirement(s) – MTEL.

The DPI has granted thousands of annual waivers for the elementary teacher reading content knowledge exam: Foundations of Reading.

An emphasis on adult employment (2009).