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School funding commission co-chairs introduce 4K funding bill

The co-chairs of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), have introduced legislation that would count full-day 4K students as 1.0 pupil for funding purposes (see more info below). This is based on a recommendation from the commission and is supported by the WASB.

We encourage you to contact your state legislators to urge support of companion bills Senate Bill 408 and Assembly Bill 465. Neither bill has been scheduled for a public hearing yet in the respective education committees. We will keep you up to date here and if this would be a benefit to your district, please consider coming to testify at a hearing. (more…)

Bills Reflecting Blue Ribbon Commission Recommendations Are Being Advanced

Nearly nine months ago, the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding issued its recommendations. Ever since, school leaders have been waiting patiently for those recommendations to be put forward as legislation.

Recently, however, a number of bills have been put forward to implement recommendations made by the Commission.  Several are described below:

Sparsity Aid
Senate Bill 182 and Assembly Bill 196, a pair of companion bills authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz), would expand eligibility for sparsity aid in a way that mirrors the recommendations made by both the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Rural Schools Task Force (2013). (See Recommendation #2 under Sparsity Aid on page 7 of the Commission Report.)


Assembly education committee schedules meeting on June 13

The Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, June 13 on a pair of bills that stem from the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.   Both bills are authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and sponsored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

UPDATE: Assembly Bill 224 was removed from the hearing agenda. Only Assembly Bill 223 was heard.

The hearing will be held in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol, beginning at 11:01 a.m on the following bills: (more…)

School funding commission recommendations taking shape as legislation

Draft bills reflecting a number of recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding are currently being circulated for co-signers. The action comes nearly five months after the Commission met at the State Capitol in December to finalize a set of recommendations to the Legislature.

Legislator members of the Commission met last month to decide which of the recommendations that had been put into bill form would be proposed for introduction. They also decided who will be the lead author(s) of each proposed bill.

This chart details the decisions made during that discussion. (more…)

Forecast for Day at the Capitol: Good meetings

Our prediction is that whatever the weather, you will have good meetings with your lawmakers during the WASB Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 13.

We’ve arranged meetings for you and will have informative presentations, handouts and leave behind materials for you. Your role is to make sure legislators don’t take resources for schools for granted.

With talk about the Legislature possibly scrapping the governor’s budget and starting from scratch, your voice telling the legislators who represent you to follow the public’s lead and provide necessary resources for schools is more important than ever! (more…)