School funding

Dear Editor,

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a summary of the impact of the Governor's public education budget...

They first focused on Section 3 of Article X in the Wisconsin Constitution. The Bureau said it, “specifies that the Legislature is responsible for the establishment of public school districts which are to be 'as nearly uniform as practicable' and 'free and without charge for tuition to all children.' ”

The Bureau also referenced Wisconsin State Statutes s.121.01. “It is further declared that in order to provide reasonable equality of educational opportunity for all the children of this state, the state must guarantee that a basic educational opportunity be available to each pupil, but that the state should be obligated to contribute to the educational program only if the school district provides a program which meets state standards.

It is the purpose of the state aid formula set forth in this subchapter to cause the state to assume a greater proportion of the costs of public education and to relieve the general property of some of its tax burden.”

They then went into the funding impacts of the Governor's proposal. Release of the report indicates that the Joint Finance Committee will soon be considering the education budget.

Many lawmakers have expressed support of the $200/per pupil increase the first year and $204/per pupil the second year. But the report indicates consideration of lesser amounts. Testimony at statewide budget hearings indicated that this funding would meet the minimum needs of educating students. Many districts will still face deficits.

Contact legislators...let them know that many of our public schools are still struggling to provide comprehensive education after the severe cuts of 2010. Support the governor's proposed funding as a minimum investment needed to continue making our public schools whole again!

John Binder

Plymouth


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