Is Governor’s School Funding Plan in Jeopardy? School Leaders Need to Make Their Case

datcWhy should you and your fellow board members come to the WASB’s Day at the Capitol to speak directly with your legislators and their staff?

There are many reasons, but consider this: Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget proposal to boost state aid to schools by $649 million is a long way from the finish line and some key members of his own party have cast doubts on whether it will pass.  Lawmakers need to hear from school leaders.

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Take, for example, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), who says he doesn’t think K-12 schools will get as much money as Gov. Scott Walker proposed.

Sen. Fitzgerald told the audience at a Feb. 9 luncheon, “There’s a lot of different places where the new revenue could go.”

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), Assembly Co-chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, has said lawmakers will make a “significant commitment” to public schools, though it “may not be the same dollar amount.”

Recognizing this resistance, Gov. Walker himself has been touring the state, urging school leaders to contact their legislators to urge them to support the increases for schools.

The governor has even posted digital ads on his website and is encouraging state residents to use those ads to contact their legislators to urge them to support his school funding plan.

Clearly, our work is cut out for us.

To make the case for the funding increases and to make your positions know on other proposed budget provisions, we encourage school board leaders and administrators to attend to the WASB Day at the Capitol event on March 15. Registration is easy. The WASB staff will schedule meetings with your legislators for you and provide you with talking points.