September 2, 2014

Evers offers fair funding plan

A new proposal would change the state’s school funding formula and increase aid to most districts.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is asking Governor Scott Walker and lawmakers to boost total school aid by about 2.4 percent in the next state budget, which would amount to an increase of about $615 million over the next two years.

Evers says it’s an important to reinvest in the state’s public schools after they took significant cuts in the last state budget. He says the state needs to “provide more resources for our schools.”

The plan would increase state aid to 402 school districts and keep 22 others at their current funding levels. It would also target aid to districts with high rates of poverty, by taking into account family incomes and not just property values.

Evers says the current system puts many property rich districts at a disadvantage, especially in parts of northern Wisconsin where average family incomes are low but property values are high. He says the change would make sure every student in the state has a baseline of about $3,000 backing up their general education.

The proposal would also focus on boosting graduation rates, improving science and math, and expanding relationships with technical colleges. Evers says it would provide great opportunities for children, so they can leave school career and college ready.

Governor Walker’s office says the plan will be considered as he develops his next biennial budget proposal, which will be introduced in the spring.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:09)