Today (Thursday) the WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau (the best of its kind in the nation BTW) issued a memorandum providing information on the estimated level of state support provided for K-12 education statewide and to individual school districts in 2020-21.
If we look at just Franklin, and total the net general school aids, categorical school aids, and the school levy tax credit, here’s the state support appropriated to Franklin Public Schools:
That’s just state support. The majority of a Franklin property taxpayer’s local annual property tax bill goes to the schools.
Today’s DPI figures come on the same day the state DPI Superintendent and teacher union hack Jill Underly was sobbing all over the floor that schools don’t siphon enough out of taxpayers’ wallets.
IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH $$$
Wisconsin is still struggling to make up for the cuts that were made to public education during the Great Recession, despite the fact that over half the U.S. has found a way to do so. As a consequence, in 2020, we graduated an entire generation of kids who have known nothing but austerity in our school funding. Who have known years of divestment in their future. This, folks, is the state of our education in Wisconsin.
To truly move forward, we need a school finance system that works for all public schools.
Despite an unprecedented budget surplus, the same unprecedented surplus that was foreshadowed a couple of years ago in the 2019 Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, the legislature claimed one-time money provided by the federal government was sufficient and failed to address the needs of our schools and our students once again.
Make no mistake, the one-time federal money for COVID-19 relief is not enough… the legislature’s short-sightedness instead put our schools on a path to a fiscal cliff and more hurtful, harmful choices in the years ahead.
I’m tired of our schools and our children crying for a banquet and when there is the opportunity to have it, being served empty plates by the legislature.
—Jill Underly in her State of Education address today
Funding for K-12 education in Wisconsin is at historic levels, and this year our schools received a massive amount of one-time federal dollars. The Democrats’ singular focus to push more money into schools isn’t a winning strategy for our kids. We need to look at improving how they are being taught and why so many students are struggling with the basics – reading, writing, and arithmetic.
We’ve seen the consequences the pandemic has played on our kids’ education, we should be focusing on doing assessments so teachers can have a better understanding of where students need to get caught up.
Throwing even more money at the problem will not fix it. Evaluating curriculum, academic testing, and allowing parents to be a part of the conversation are real solutions Legislative Republicans will continue to fight for in the classroom.
—Assembly Speaker Robin Vos