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Slow pace of legislation lags previous sessions

Split party control of Wisconsin state government appears to have greatly slowed the flow of legislation being enacted into law in the current 2019-20 legislative session and it appears unlikely the pace will pick up anytime soon.

According to the Wheeler Report, neither the state Senate nor the state Assembly are expected to meet in floor session during the month of September. Lawmakers had set aside the period from Sept. 17 to 26 for a floor period when they organized the session schedule back in January. The next scheduled floor period is October 8-10. (more…)

2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

Here’s a quick recap of some of the key K-12 education  provisions in the state’s new biennial budget as signed into law by the governor (with partial vetoes).

What’s In:

Revenue Limits:

  • Revenue limits for all districts will increase by $175 in the 2019-20 school year and by an additional $179 in the 2020-21 school year.
  • The “low revenue ceiling” for the state’s lowest spending districts, which was set at $9,400 in 2018-19 is increased to $9,700 in the 2019-20 school year and to $10,000 in 2020-21 and in each subsequent school year. (Note: This adjustment in the low revenue ceiling may not be available for certain low revenue districts in which a referendum to exceed the revenue limits was held and failed in specified years.)


Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

While a good deal of attention has been paid to the governor’s vetoes pertaining to per pupil aid and supplemental per pupil aid, there are a number of other vetoes that will impact schools that school leaders should be aware of.   Here are two that will have the biggest impact on school districts:

Personal Computing Devices: A partial veto by the governor effectively eliminates funding (roughly $9.2 million annually) for the personal electronic computing devices grant program effective July 1, 2019. (more…)

Following vetoes increasing spending on schools, lawmakers introduce measure to limit governor’s veto

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“After Gov. Tony Evers used his veto pen last week to send tens of millions of dollars more to schools than what lawmakers approved, Republicans are seeking to limit the governor’s veto power over future state budgets.

“Sen. David Craig of Big Bend and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch of New Berlin are proposing to amend the state constitution to prevent Evers and future governors from using their veto authority to increase funding levels in state budgets passed by the Legislature.” (more…)

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…)