A recently introduced Assembly Bill—Assembly Bill 267—aims to call attention to the growing impact of Wisconsin voucher programs on school property taxes.
The “Wisconsin Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill,” authored by state Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) would require property tax bills to include information from the school district where the property is located regarding the amount of any net reduction in state aid, if any, to the district as a result of pupils enrolled in the statewide voucher program, the Racine voucher program, or the Milwaukee voucher program. (See news release.)
Continue reading Bill Seeks Transparency on Property Tax Impact of Voucher Funding
The annual fiscal report released by the state Department of Administration (DOA) Monday shows the state of Wisconsin ended the 2016 fiscal year on June 30 with a balance of $313.8 million in its general fund, or about $76.9 million less than expected. General fund revenues are used to pay state aid to local school districts, among other things.
At the time the 2015-17 state budget was enacted, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) had projected the general fund ending balance would be 390.5 million. The final number ended up being lower because the state generated less tax revenue than expected, according to LFB Director Bob Lang. Continue reading State Ends 2016 Fiscal Year with Slightly Smaller Balance Than Expected
As required by state law, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released the Oct. 15 certified amount each school district will receive from the $4.584 billion available under current law for general state aid. The certified aid shows that 60% of the state’s public school districts (255 of 424*) will receive more general state aid this school year than they did in 2015-16.
General state aid for school districts was up $108.1 million from last year. However, according to DPI’s press release, the actual amount of general aid that the state’s public school districts receive is reduced for a number of factors: Continue reading General State Aid Certified to School Districts
Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) will not be required to take part in a controversial state-designed takeover program next year. MPS received news this week of its reprieve via a letter from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, indicating that MPS is unlikely to meet the criteria for takeover during the 2016-17 school year. Continue reading No State Takeover of MPS Schools This Year
As the political campaigns heat up, school leaders can be sure that when candidates and incumbents talk about placing a priority on holding the line on property taxes, schools are likely to be affected.
A recent Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) analysis found that from 2000 through 2011, statewide property taxes grew by an average rate of 4.6 percent per year. Since then, annual growth has averaged 0.3 percent.
The largest recent increases (1.4 percent) occurred last year and two years ago. Last year, net levies fell by 2.3 percent as the state bought down technical college levies by providing a more than $400 million increase in state aid.
Continue reading Growth in Property Taxes Slows, Schools Remain the Biggest User
With DPI listening sessions about to begin, we continue a several-part analysis of what decisions the state and local districts will need to make to implement the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Our first post covered some of the basics of the new law. In this post, we delve into more detail on the decisions ESSA requires states must make.
States play a unique role in ESSA implementation. School leaders should examine state-level Title I decisions with an eye toward how they will impact your district at a local level as well as for opportunities for collaboration and consensus building.
Continue reading What’s at Stake for Schools in ESSA Implementation? (Part 2, State Accountability Plans)