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PDK Poll finds widespread frustration among teachers, consensus that schools are underfunded

Since 1969, Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), a US professional organization for educators, has conducted an annual survey of public attitudes and opinion about public education and published the results. This year, for the first time since 2000, the poll surveyed teachers as well as parents and members of the public. The 2019 version—the 51st annual PDK poll–surveyed 2,389 people online in late April, including 1,083 parents of school-age children and 556 public school teachers.

Among the key findings of this year’s poll are the following:

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Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

President Trump and Congressional leaders reached a federal budget deal last night, with the announcement coming via a Presidential tweet. The agreement, which still needs to pass Congress, comes days before Congress is set to leave town for its August recess.

One key feature of the deal is that it calls for raising limits on federal discretionary spending by $320 billion. Only about $77 billion of the new spending authorized by the deal would be offset by spending cuts, less than the $150 billion in spending cuts the White House had called for earlier. Under the package, both defense spending and non-defense spending, including spending for education programs, would increase. (more…)

LFB releases memo on impact of state budget on school districts

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released their estimate of the district by district effect of the major K-12 funding provisions included in the signed-into-law 2019-21 state budget. The numbers in the memo represent the estimated change to prior law.

The memo includes analysis of the following provisions:

  • Per Pupil Revenue Limit Adjustment and Low Revenue Adjustment
  • Per Pupil Aid
  • Special Education Aid

Access the memo to see the effect on your school district here:

Estimated Effects of School Finance Provisions for School Districts Under 2019-21 Budget Act

How the new state budget increases spendable resources for schools

In signing the 2019-21 state budget into law, Gov. Evers used his partial veto authority in a way that increases per pupil categorical aid payments above the level the Legislature had provided.  As a result, school districts will receive per pupil aid payments equal to $742 per pupil in each year (i.e., in both 2019-20 and 2020-21).   The governor’s partial veto also has the effect of “front-loading” the per pupil aid increase compared to the way the Legislature provided this aid, which would have spread the increase evenly over two years (see charts below). (more…)

John Ashley statement on state budget

“We view the budget signed today by Gov. Tony Evers as a foundation to build for the future.

“We understand that split-party control of state government requires compromise to get a budget passed. We also understand that state policy makers face many worthy and competing priorities in addition to K-12 schools that must be addressed within the confines of available revenues.

“We are pleased the Legislature provided a solid foundation for K-12 schools upon which the governor has been able to build.

“On behalf of school boards across the state, we thank the governor for using his veto pen to improve the 2019-21 state budget for K-12 schools.”