The legislature’s budget committee’s state funding plan for K-12 education puts $2.3 billion in federal COVID relief funding for schools at risk according to a memo by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The memo states that Wisconsin is expected to meet the requirements in the first round of federal relief funding (CARES Act/ESSER I/GEERS I) but also confirms that further investment will be necessary to meet the requirements to capture approx. $2.3 billion in relief funding included in the second and third relief packages (ESSER II & ESSER III, respectively). (more…)
Wisconsin Association of School Boards
School Administrators Alliance
Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance
Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance
$4.4 Billion in New Revenue Is an Opportunity to Invest in Wisconsin School Children
K-12 groups call on Legislature to revisit K-12 education budget
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has just released updated revenue estimates that show, due to “unprecedented” collections in April and May, that it now expects $4.4 billion more revenue coming to the state than previous estimates done in January. From the LFB Memo:
“The increase in general fund tax collections in 2021, particularly in the months of April and May, is unprecedented. Based upon the strength of collections and the vastly improved economic forecasts for the remainder of this year and the next two years, our analysis indicates that for the three-year period, aggregate general fund tax collections will be $4,427.4 million above those of the previous estimates.”
This could be a game-changer and certainly a legitimate reason for the Joint Finance Committee to revisit their K-12 spending plan. Stay tuned.
An editorial from the Wisconsin State Journal…
“Wisconsin ranks near the bottom of states — 45th out of 50 — in harnessing money from Uncle Sam, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.
“So why is the Republican-run Legislature — again — risking if not snubbing federal dollars from Washington that taxpayers here deserve, given all the money Wisconsin citizens pay the IRS?
Wisconsin schools could lose out on at least $1.5 billion (and possibly as much as $2.4 billion) in one-time COVID relief funds if state lawmakers do not revisit the state K-12 education budget and increase state funding.
What would happen to those federal relief funds if Wisconsin fails to qualify? The funding would revert to the federal government and be reallocated to other states that DO qualify to receive the funds. (more…)
From Wisconsin State Journal, “The U.S. Department of Education on Friday warned Wisconsin that Republicans’ proposed $350 million for the state’s rainy day fund won’t help qualify it for $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds for education the GOP budget already puts the state at risk of losing out on.
“Republican members of the Legislature’s budget committee on Thursday voted to advance a K-12 education plan that would fund just 10%, or $128 million, of the $1.6 billion sought by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. They also voted to put $350 million into the state’s budget stabilization fund to “maintain education funding stability in the future,” although that fund can be tapped for any purpose so there’s no guarantee those dollars would end up going to schools. (more…)