School Leaders Back Evers Funding Plan
Governor’s budget has $1.4 billion hike in K-12 funding; GOP likely to scale that back.
Public school administrators from western Wisconsin are encouraged by the proposed state budget from Gov. Tony Evers for K-12 education.
“At least we’re at the table and we’re not on the menu, so to speak,” said Mark Bezek, superintendent of the Somerset School District and executive committee member of the National School Superintendent’s Association. “It’s not playing defense and protecting what you have. Now, we’re actually talking about, ‘Let’s improve the system.'”
Evers, who held the state superintendent of public instruction post before being elected governor last November, has proposed an additional $1.4 billion for public schools including $600 million more to fund special education in the state’s 2019-21 budget.
Eau Claire School Superintendent Mary Ann Hardebeck was similarly positive about the governor’s proposal.
“It’s so hopeful to see that investment come back to education and our children, perhaps in a way that would be more equalized across the state,” she said. “How much investment goes into your education (now) is really determined by your zip code.”
Hardebeck said with state-imposed revenue limits, it’s been hard for many Wisconsin school districts to operate without asking residents’ permission in a referendum for more money.
In 2016, Eau Claire voters, by an almost 2 to 1 margin, passed a referendum that will give the district $5.86 million over each year for 15 years.
It will pay for both operational costs like employment compensation, smaller class sizes and computer security. It also paid for building improvements including 25 years of deferred maintenance to buildings.
Hardebeck said there were 80 different building projects, with the final 20 projects due to be completed this summer.
“We don’t have spending problems in our school districts, we have a revenue problem,” she said. “The revenue cap keeps us from keeping pace with the increasing costs of doing business.”
Somerset School District voters will be asked in the April 2 election to approve a $28 million building referendum and another that would allow Somerset schools to spend an extra $1 million per year for operational costs.
Bezek said just having the state pay for the cost of special education would help the Somerset budget.
“If we can start catching up some of these things that are taking away from our general fund, so we can put them into our facilities, we can compensate our people. Those are big things that will help us,” he said.
Evers’ budget faces an uphill battle when state lawmakers begin considering it.
But Anne Chapman, an education researcher with the non-partisan Wisconsin Policy Forum, said parts of the governor’s proposal are in line with a report recently released by the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.
“School funding in general seems to be something that’s enjoying bipartisan support right now,” Chapman said. “I think what Republicans are pushing against is the amount (of money) Gov. Evers is discussing seems to be somewhat difficult to balance with other priorities.”
School Administrators Back Evers’ Plan For Education Funding was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio
More about the 2019-2021 Wisconsin Budget
- Budget Committee Debates Stewardship Program - Danielle Kaeding - May 28th, 2019
- Republicans Refuse to Allow Votes on Budget Proposals to Help People Vote - One Wisconsin Now - May 14th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Responds to GOP Rejection of Medicaid Expansion - State Rep. Robyn Vining - May 9th, 2019
- Gov. Evers’ Statement on Joint Finance Committee Action - Gov. Tony Evers - May 9th, 2019
- Leader Fitzgerald Applauds Joint Finance Committee Eliminating Over $1 Billion in Gov. Evers’ Tax Hikes - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - May 9th, 2019
- Scores of People Attend State Budget Hearing - Bridgit Bowden - Apr 6th, 2019
- Legislators Resist Many Evers Proposals - Laurel White - Apr 5th, 2019
- Republicans Call for Reset of Evers’ Budget - Shawn Johnson and Laurel White - Apr 4th, 2019
- Evers Budgets $78 Million for High Speed Internet - Danielle Kaeding - Mar 14th, 2019
- Evers Wants $2.5 Billion Capital Budget - Shawn Johnson - Mar 11th, 2019
- The Medical College of Wisconsin Applauds Governor Evers Commitment to Cancer Research - Medical College of Wisconsin - Mar 8th, 2019
- Evers Budget Overlooks Convention Center - Corri Hess - Mar 8th, 2019
- School Leaders Back Evers Funding Plan - John Davis - Mar 7th, 2019
- WILL Budget Explainer: The Administrative State - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Mar 7th, 2019
- Governor Evers Makes Historic Investments in Health Care Coverage and Access - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Mar 6th, 2019
- Evers’ Budget Allows Immigrants In-State Tuition - Phoebe Petrovic - Mar 6th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: Who Will Win State Budget Battle? - Bruce Murphy - Mar 5th, 2019
- The State of Politics: Governor’s Veto Power Looms Large - Steven Walters - Mar 4th, 2019
- Rural and Urban School Districts Express Support for Governor Evers’ Budget - Milwaukee Public Schools - Mar 1st, 2019
- Governor Evers Budget Prioritizes Real People Living Real Lives - Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health - Mar 1st, 2019
- Coalition for More Responsible Transportation Members Applaud Gov. Evers’ Proposed Transportation Budget - Coalition for More Responsible Transportation - Mar 1st, 2019
- Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald Responds to Governor Evers’ Budget Address - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Considine Statement on Governor’s Budget - State Rep. Dave Considine - Feb 28th, 2019
- Senator Craig Responds to Governor Evers’ Budget Address - State Sen. David Craig - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Shankland Commends Governor Evers on The People’s Budget - State Rep. Katrina Shankland - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Cheers The People’s Budget - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Feb 28th, 2019
- Milwaukee Area Labor Council Reaction State Budget - Milwaukee Area Labor Council - Feb 28th, 2019
- Statement from Rep. Brostoff in Support of Gov. Evers’ Redistricting Plan - State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff - Feb 28th, 2019
- The People’s Budget is a Win for Wisconsin - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Mark Spreitzer Applauds Gov. Evers’s Budget Address - State Rep. Mark Spreitzer - Feb 28th, 2019
- Gov. Tony Evers’ Budget Plan: Progress on Solutions for Student Loan Borrowers and Protections for Wisconsin Voter Rights - One Wisconsin Now - Feb 28th, 2019
- Governor Evers Gives 2019-21 Biennial Budget Address - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 28th, 2019
- MacIver Responds To Reporters Being Barred From Evers Budget Briefing - MacIver Institute - Feb 28th, 2019
- AFP-WI: Evers Education Budget Doesn’t Prioritize Student Success - AFP Wisconsin - Feb 28th, 2019
- Evers’ Budget Will Include Nonpartisan Redistricting Process - Shawn Johnson - Feb 27th, 2019
- Representative Subeck Applauds Governor Evers’ Plan to Ensure Fair Election Maps - State Rep. Lisa Subeck - Feb 26th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Embraces Gov. Evers’ Inclusion of Redistricting in Budget - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Feb 26th, 2019
- Gov. Evers Announces Tribal Initiatives in State Budget - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 26th, 2019
- Governor Evers’ Budget Targets School Choice: What You Need to Know - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Feb 25th, 2019
- The State of Politics: 10 Issues to Watch in Evers Budget - Steven Walters - Feb 25th, 2019
- Evers Signals Gas Tax In His Budget - Danielle Kaeding - Feb 13th, 2019
- Evers Budget Will ‘Put Kids First’ - Shawn Johnson - Jan 30th, 2019
- Evers Wants Voucher Costs on Tax Bills - Shawn Johnson - Jan 3rd, 2019