Local School Districts and Democrats Speak Out on Republican Kindergarten to Grade 12 ‘Shell Game’ | Local government
“As I have said probably several hundred times over the past few weeks, we would take the necessary steps to be in compliance with federal (requirements) and we did,” said committee co-chair, Representative Mark Born, R- Beaver Dam.
But U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, said he wanted to check with the U.S. Department of Education before assuming the Republican plan would be successful.
“The idea was not to provide a hull set,” said Pocan. “The idea was to provide additional money for education.”
To obtain the funds, the state must devote 35% of its overall budget to K-12 education and 8.8% to tertiary education, both of which are three-year averages of previous budgets.
Governor Tony Evers had proposed a $ 1.6 billion increase in K-12 funding, which easily crossed the spending threshold. But Republicans initially reduced that amount to $ 128 million. Even with that bump, education funding fell about $ 430 million below the 35% threshold before Thursday’s vote.
The Republican plan closed that gap with the additional $ 408 million for school districts plus $ 72 million for technical colleges, all designed to lower property taxes.
“Right now we have a pie and that pie is divided into what’s publicly funded versus what’s locally funded, but the size of the pie is determined by the income limit and size. pie doesn’t change because the income limit doesn’t change, “said Sara Shaw, senior researcher at the Wisconsin Policy Forum, a non-partisan organization.” A different approach would have been to put more pies on the table, but that’s not what’s going on here. “