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).
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
“Until Wednesday, lawmakers were under the impression $1.5 billion was at risk but a new memo shows the money in jeopardy surpasses $2 billion. The news comes at a time when state officials have learned the state has an additional $4.4 billion in revenue to use in spending decisions.”
Initially, the LFB has pegged the amount needed to capture the federal dollars at $387 million, but that is a moving target. As the committee makes further expenditures in other areas, that number will increase because of the requirements regarding maintaining the percentage of state spending going to K-12 education.
As we mentioned previously, if Wisconsin fails to qualify, those funds will be redistributed to schools in other states.