The following are letters from Wisconsin superintendents informing their parents and communities about the short- and long- term setbacks facing the over 400 state school districts. Please join them in speaking out against a travesty in the making.
Each year we make many difficult choices about how to spend our available dollars, similar to any business, but the challenges are becoming increasingly difficult. With significant tax dollars being funneled to private voucher schools, which are not accountable in the same manner as the Wauwatosa School District schools, there is a fundamental shift in the foundation of public schools that will negatively impact our schools and the students they serve permanently.
Within the televised context of the Governor’s budget address, Governor Walker stated the new budget would provide public schools with roughly the same amount of funding as during the previous year; thus, suggesting that the per pupil revenue limit increase most recently set at $75.00 would be reduced to zero. This reduction in projected revenue, along with other baseline assumptions, would result in a necessary Wausau School District 2015-2016 budget reduction of $1,250,000. However, contained within the actual 900+ page executive budget report, verbiage indicates that the same amount of funding will not be forthcoming. In fact the budget report clarifies that in addition to the per pupil revenue limit remaining at $0, the proposal also calls for a categorical aid reduction from $150.00 per pupil to $0 thereby increasing necessary budget reductions to a total of $2,500,000.
Dane County Superintendents
Too often taxpayers, parents, politicians, and educators talk about what they dislike or what they are against. As leaders of school districts in and around Dane County, we are compelled to speak out about what we need to maintain and improve our already excellent schools. We are united in the mission of working for excellence for all of our children.
It is also important for the public, the legislature, and Governor Walker to advocate for both policies and budgets that make sense, while also resonating with parents, grandparents, the business community, and the voters of Wisconsin. It is in this spirit that we submit this letter. It is in this spirit that we call upon our state representatives to act to support our schools.
The governor’s budget bill was released last week. If the education-related items within the proposal prevail, it will be a crushing blow to public education in several ways. I will touch upon just two of those items below.
River Falls Budget Resolution