Wisconsin's top teacher asks for more money.
State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster introduces her 2009-2011 education budget proposal during the annual State of Education address in Madison.
"Our school districts are stretched to the limit. We have been operating under revenue limit control for 15 years."
Burmaster says we need to significantly invest in our PK-12 education system and make sure the kids are ready to tackle the world, or else Wisconsin will lose its competitive edge in the 21st century.
"We have significant achievement gaps that exist between our economically disadvantaged students, our students of color, and their peers. And we will not be able to prosper. We will either be paying now or we will be paying later in social and corrections programs.
Burmaster says the lack of revenue flexibility at the local level forces communities to make agonizing decisions to close schools, cut programs, eliminate services, and limit educational opportunities.
Burmaster wants a budget that prioritizes early childhood education, small class sizes, global literacy, teacher recruitment, compensation, and repeal of the QEO.
The Superintendent also wants to expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grants, and offer loan forgiveness for teachers who work at high poverty schools.
The Department of Public Instruction biennial budget comes at a cost of 760-million new GPR dollars.