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November Advocacy Tip: VOTE on Tuesday!

Next Tuesday, Nov. 6, is the Fall General Election.  In this month’s tip we will provide information on how to determine who is on your ballot and how to research their positions on the issues.

What’s on the ballot on Tuesday? 


Plan to attend one of the new WASB Legislative Advocacy Workshops

If you attended your WASB fall regional meeting, you heard us talk about what a unique opportunity we have for K-12 education heading into the  Nov. 6 election and the next state budget.  We have a public concerned about K-12 and showing historic levels of support for investing in public schools. This combination has led to support for K-12 being a central issue in the race for governor and in high-profile state legislative races.

The period between the election and the start of the next legislative session in January is the ideal time to begin (or continue) developing relationships with your state legislators.  As former legislative staff, Dan Rossmiller & Chris Kulow will describe the inner workings of legislative offices with tips and insight on how to make efficient and effective contacts on behalf of your schools. (more…)

Both candidates for Governor pledge to return to state funding 2/3 of K-12 costs

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,  Gov. Scott Walker has pledged to restore the state’s commitment to cover two-thirds of school costs  without raising property taxes. State Supt. Tony Evers, the Democratic challenger, promised the same when he released his education plan.

Two-thirds funding was a commitment established in state law in 1993 to reduce the burden on property taxes.  This commitment was repealed in the 2003-05 state budget.  In December 2017, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) estimated that state support in the 2017-18 school year would be 64.8%.  With no per pupil adjustment to revenue limits and an infusion of per pupil categorical aid ($190 million) from the state and a modest increase in state general aid ($73 million), the percentage was projected by the LFB to increase to 65.8% in 2018-19.

It should be noted that returning to the state providing two-thirds funding alone does not necessarily mean additional resources for school districts.  The way two-thirds funding is calculated, all of the increase from the state could go into levy credits, which would reduce property tax bills but would not increase school budgets one dime.  Or if general aids are increased but revenue limits are not adjusted, it could simply mean a higher percentage of that capped amount would come from the state and the percentage from property taxes would decrease correspondingly.

MU Law Poll: continued strong support for increased K-12 funding

The newest Marquette Law School Poll was released by Prof. Charles Franklin (pictured) on September 18 and it included an array of questions on various election and other issues. It featured K-12 education-related questions including the recurring question of increased school funding vs reducing property taxes:

This continues a trend of strong support for increased school spending: (more…)