Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Ever’s Proposed Budget, including K-12 Changes

Logan Wroge:

The Democratic governor included the funding formula revision in his executive budget released Thursday. As state superintendent during four previous budgets, Evers sought to shake up the formula to deliver more funding to high poverty and rural school districts, but former Gov. Scott Walker did not advance the proposal. After narrowly beating Walker in the November election, Evers was able to ensure its inclusion.

Other major proposals in the two-year education spending package largely reflect what Evers requested last fall as head of the state Department of Public Instruction.

He is seeking to reinstate a defunct commitment for the state to fund two-thirds of public school costs, add $606 million for special education, direct $64 million more toward mental health services and programs, and create $20 million in grants for after-school programs.

Additionally, Evers is looking to suspend the expansion of independent charter schools, freeze enrollment in the Milwaukee, Racine and statewide voucher programs, and phase out the voucher program for students with disabilities.

Prior to the governor’s Thursday evening budget address, Democratic lawmakers and state education advocates lauded the proposals.

Madison spends around $20,000 per student, far more than most. This, despite long term, disastrous reading results.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”.