Select Page

Governor Evers signs state budget; provides roughly $85 million boost in per pupil aid

Concluding a state budget process that began in late February with Gov. Evers’ first budget address and the release of his proposal, the governor today signed the state budget into law with several partial vetoes.

For K-12 education, the biggest news is that, through the veto process, the budget now invests about $85 million more in per pupil aid to school districts compared to the version passed by the legislature.  The governor’s veto increases per pupil aid payments to a total of $742 per pupil in 2019-20 and 2020-21.  (Districts received a total of $654 per pupil  in 2018-19.)  Compared to the $25 per pupil increases in this aid in each year that were approved by the Legislature, the increase under the governor’s veto is $63 per pupil higher in 2019-20 and $38 per pupil higher in 2020-21.  As a result, districts will be able to increase their spendable revenues by $263 per pupil in 2019-20 and by $242 per pupil in 2020-21. (more…)

Senate passes budget bill; heads to Gov. Evers

The state Senate concurred in the state budget bill today (June 26) as passed by the state Assembly. This clears the bill to head to Governor Tony Evers, who has the option to sign the bill as is, veto the bill in whole or in part, or allow it to become law without his signature by taking no action within the six-day review period (Sundays excepted) specified in the State Constitution.

The bill was approved 17-16 with GOP Sens. Steve Nass (Whitewater) and Dave Craig (Vernon) joined by all Senate Democrats in voting No. (more…)

State budget debate this week; non-fiscal policy update

The state Assembly will act first on the state budget (Assembly Bill 56), beginning at noon on Tuesday, June 25 with the state Senate following the next day on Wednesday, June 26 at 10:00 am.   Major changes to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) budget are not expected, but some last minute changes have been discussed amid two GOP Senators announcing they did not support the JFC package. You can follow the budget debates LIVE on WisconsinEye. Stay tuned…

One side benefit of having different parties controlling the governorship and legislature is a dramatic reduction in the amount of non-fiscal policy jammed into the budget bill.  Non-fiscal item items often do not receive the attention and deliberation that a typical stand-alone piece of legislation would (some recent examples include changes to open records laws and voucher expansion). (more…)

Some suggestions for the governor and legislative leaders to improve the K-12 budget

Governor Evers’ recent comments to the media indicating that he plans to reach out to Republican legislative leaders before the Assembly and Senate meet to take up the state budget bill got us thinking.

We’d like to take this opportunity to suggest some things we would like to see the governor and legislative leaders discuss seriously in any negotiations they might undertake.  These are modest asks. The spending increase provided by the JFC budget for K-12 education in 2019-21 is over $130 million smaller than the increase provided by the 2017-19 state budget.  We respectfully suggest policy makers revisit a couple of issues that if adopted could make this a better budget for schools. (more…)