The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has requested $613 million in state aid for public schools over the next two year budget cycle. DPI spokesman John Johnson said the request – 2.6 percent more for 2015, and a 4.7 percent increase the following year – represents a starting point in the larger state budget process.
State Superintendent Tony Evers’ budget request would also allow schools to increase spending per student by $200 the first year and 204 dollars the second year. “We listened to parents and educators, and what we hear loud and clear is that we need some help in our schools,” said Johnson. “The 200 dollar revenue limit per pupil increase is basically a consumer price-indexed increase that would put us after four years just above a level of funding that our kids were experiencing back in 2010.”
Johnson says the DPI budget request is a response to a broken school aid formula for the state’s public schools. Governor Scott Walker’s office said the governor will consider the DPI request before Walker submits his next budget to lawmakers in February.
“The budget request is as expected. We intend to move ahead with our Forward Agenda, which calls for more efficient use of taxpayer dollars in education, by focusing resources in the classroom,” said a statement released jointly by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Joint Finance Committee Assembly Co-Chair John Nygren (R-Marinette).