Category Archives: State Issue

WASB Asks JFC to Remove Requirement to Certify “Act 10 Compliance” from Budget

Ahead of today’s agency briefing on the DPI budget, the WASB sent a memo to Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members outlining our concerns about a provision in the governor’s proposed budget that requires each school district to certify that it is using the “tools” provided under Act 10 in order to receive the proposed increases of $200 and $204 in per pupil categorical aid under the budget bill.

Specifically, this provision requires each school district to certify to the DPI that “the employees of the district will be required to pay at least 12 percent of all costs and payments associated with employee health care coverage plans in that year” in order to receive the increased per pupil aid.

The memo respectfully asks that this provision be removed from the budget bill or that, at a minimum, this provision be modified to take into account the reality that under revenue limits school districts have used flexibilities provided by Act 10 to generate cost savings and reduce personnel costs in a variety of ways.

The memo cites examples of many ways districts have achieved cost savings and reduced their costs other than simply increasing school employees’ share of payments for health care coverage.

View WASB Memo – Opposition to Act 10 Certification Requirement in Gov’s Proposed Budget.

 

 

DOA Secretary Neitzel’s Testimony to JFC Touts Investments in K-12 Education in Gov’s Proposed Budget

As the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) began hearing briefings from various state agencies concerning their budget requests, Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel  used a portion of his testimony to highlight investments in K-12 education Gov. Walker is proposing.  Here is what Sec. Neitzel told committee members earlier today:

Continue reading DOA Secretary Neitzel’s Testimony to JFC Touts Investments in K-12 Education in Gov’s Proposed Budget

Bill to Allow “Constitutional Carry” of Firearms Could Impact Schools, Boards

 

concealed handgun A bill draft (LRB-2039/1) released today by state Sen. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend, Town of Vernon) and state Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) would provide for the so-called “constitutional carry” of firearms in Wisconsin.  Under this proposal, dubbed the “Right to Carry” bill, gun owners who can legally own a firearm would no longer be required to obtain a license in order to carry a concealed firearm in Wisconsin.

(Note: Current law generally prohibits an individual from carrying a concealed weapon unless the individual has a state Department of Justice-issued license to carry a concealed weapon, which requires a background check and proof of training, or the individual is a qualified current or former law enforcement officer.)

The bill unveiled today (3/28) would eliminate current state law prohibitions against carrying firearms in specified places, including school zones, but would retain provisions in current law that allow certain persons or governing bodies to post their buildings and grounds so that individuals who carry a firearm in violation of the posting would commit trespass.

For schools, the bill would eliminate the existing state gun free school zones law, which prohibits individuals generally from carrying a firearm on school grounds and prohibits individuals who do not hold a license to carry a concealed weapon (a CCW license) from carrying a firearm in a school zone.  However, schools would be allowed to post their buildings and grounds to prohibit weapons possession under state trespassing laws.

Continue reading Bill to Allow “Constitutional Carry” of Firearms Could Impact Schools, Boards

ALERT: Aid Increases for Schools Under Threat From Plan to Scrap Gov’s Budget

A divide among lawmakers about how to deal with Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed state budget bill threatens to significantly reduce or even potentially eliminate the increased state aid the governor has proposed for schools.

Some lawmakers are actively pushing a plan for the Legislature’s budget–writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to reject the governor’s proposal and instead build the 2017-19 state budget from the current budget—called the “base budget” in Capitol lingo.

At stake are the substantial increases Gov. Walker has proposed for public schools, including increases in per pupil aid, aid targeted specifically to rural schools and funding from school-based mental health services, to name a few.

Working from the base budget rather than Gov. Walker’s proposal would erase the proposed funding increases for public schools as a starting point for budget discussions. This would put public schools back to square one in the budget debate.

Please contact your lawmakers as soon as possible and urge them to WORK FROM THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL.   (Click Find My Legislators, then click on the map to get contact information for your legislators.)           

The decision will be made very soon.  JFC  hearings on state agency budgets begin this week and public hearings will begin next week (April 3).  (See previous post.)

Continue reading ALERT: Aid Increases for Schools Under Threat From Plan to Scrap Gov’s Budget

Marquette Poll: 80% Support Increasing State Aid to Schools

franklinToday’s Marquette University Law School Poll, run by Prof. Charles Franklin (pictured), included two K-12 related questions:

This is a huge result in favor of more resources for schools and one that hopefully reaches state legislators as they begin their work on the budget. It is certainly something you should add to your testimony if you plan to speak at a public hearing of the Joint Finance Committee in April. Continue reading Marquette Poll: 80% Support Increasing State Aid to Schools