From our friends at the Wisconsin Public Education Network

Dear friends of Wisconsin Public Schools,

K-12 public education funding discussions stalled today as Assembly Republicans took their stalemate on the budget to the next level by putting forward an alternative plan that cuts $90 million from the Governor's K-12 budget and changes per pupil funding from $200 to $150/student. While their proposal includes a welcome raising of the low revenue limit ceiling (something districts have long asked for), raising this limit without providing an equitable increase in aid is a shell game puts the burden of finding funding on local districts and would create even more inequities between "haves" and "have nots" around the state.

While Senate Republicans were quick to hold firm on their commitment to the Governor's proposed budget, it is now unclear when the Joint Finance Committee will take up K-12 funding, and what "compromises" are in store as they continue to engage in closed-door negotiations. Continuing to reach out to all legislators during this time is critical, and they need to hear from all of us - superintendents, parents, board members, teachers, and community members. Our partners around the state were quick to respond and I spend much of the day getting my finger on the pulse and collecting quotes from local level teams.

We compiled their responses in this press release, which we encourage you to read and share widely -- and feel free to borrow from in your continued community and legislative communications: Wisconsin Parents: Assembly Plan Hurts Kids, Betrays Promise


“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation at the final hour of budget negotiations,” said Marcia Engen, a member of Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education. “’Restore funding to public schools’ was the number one thing legislators heard at the public hearings on the budget.  All over the state, there was one common message no matter what district you were from: the $200 per student funding promised by the Governor was barely enough to keep most districts afloat. Senate Republicans clearly got the message, but now the Assembly majority wants to break that promise? Most districts have already drafted their budgets, and many are looking at deep cuts with the proposed $200. We can’t afford to cut even more than we already have. Our kids are counting on us to keep that promise. We can’t afford not to.”

Thank you to all who reached out and submitted quotes for this - it is very helpful to connect and share these perspectives, and your thoughts reflect the deep concerns felt around the state. I also recommend reading this response from John Ashley at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Please continue to speak up for a budget that meets the needs of all kids, and remind legislators that the Wisconsin public education community is united in its support of a minimum $200 increase to per pupil funding, with no strings attached and no additions of unvetted policy items at the final hour. Heather Heather DuBois Bourenane


hdb@WisconsinNetwork.org • (608) 572-1696 • WisconsinNetwork.org
facebook: www.facebook/WisconsinNetwork • twitter: @WiscEdNetwork

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Steve Hanson
About

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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