September 21, 2014

Senate Republicans offer education alternative

A pair of Republican state senators are proposing their own plan to increase funding for public schools.

Under the plan from Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), schools would get an additional $150 per student over the next two years. Ellis says the kids who are the future of this state are entitled to an increase, as the cost of educating students and the expenses for schools districts continues to go up.

The Ellis-Olsen plan carries a $382 million price tag, which would be paid for by shifting funding around in the governor’s budget and by allowing districts to collect an extra $153 million property taxes over the next two years. For a $150,000 home, that would result in about a $16 increase in the first. Ellis says it’s “not an enormous burden” on taxpayers, but it does help public schools across the state.

While the governor’s proposed budget includes $130 million in additional public school funding, it does not increase per-pupil spending levels or lift revenue caps.

Mike Kemmeter, WHBY