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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Issue Corner: Governor: Quality Education & Funding

(Ed.note: This is one of the identified issues at the Governor Candidate Forum in Stoughton, Wi on Sunday, April 15, 2012) Question: Over the last 20 years, state aid to school districts has been a smaller and smaller portion of the total cost of quality public education. Our children are receiving fewer educational opportunities. Gov. Walker has reduced revenues to schools by another $1.6 billin in this 2 year budget. The result? More teacher layoffs and program cuts hurting children. The Legislature can fix the school-funding formula tomorrow by taking two actions: By passing State Superintendent Tony Evers""Fair Funding for Our Future" Plan and By approving "The Penny for Kids" one-cent increase in the sales tax to restore Walker's $1.6 billion in cuts. Specifically, "The Fair Funding for Our Future" Plan calls for a base state funding of $3000 for every student in every district, increases state aid if the district has a high number of students living in poverty, helps districts with declining enrollments, increases state aid each by 2% or the CPI to provide stability, eases the state revenue limits, and places the school levy tax credit monies into school aids. Specifically, "The Penny for Kids" would increase the state sales tax from 5% to 6% on the dollar producing nearly $900 million per year in revenue that would then be sent to schools as state aids making up for Walker's cuts."

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