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Superintendent Evers takes on school-funding

State Superintendent Tony EversTony Evers, superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, unveiled a framework for school-funding reform at an event in Madison on June 24.

While not the comprehensive reform WAES will continue to work for, Superintendent Evers has placed the issue front and center in the upcoming political campaign, signaled the inclusion of a call for significant changes in the 2011-13 DPI budget, and set up a discussion of long-term reform for the 2012-15 biennium.

Evers’ proposal - “Fair Funding for our Future” - is based on many of the principles WAES has advocated for years. The State Superintendent talks about the need for increased state revenue; a “minimum level” of state aid for every child in Wisconsin; poverty as factor in the aid calculation; “a predictable percentage each year” in the growth of state school revenues; and an expansion of sparsity and transportation aid targeted to struggling rural districts.

The plan also allocates about $900 million that now goes into the Property Tax Levy Credit to actual aid that reaches the classroom. Levy credits have long been counted as “state education aid” but have been used for property tax relief, not education-a State Government flimflam game WAES has talked about in communities all over Wisconsin.

“Every little detail of the Superintendents plan may not be perfect,” said Suhr, a spokesperson for WAES. “It does, however, recognize the funding crisis faced by Wisconsin’s schools and children and it starts us on the road to comprehensive, long-term reform.”

While supporting the positive aspects of the framework, WAES will keep working for long-term funding reform that provides the actual cost of a quality education and “A Penny for Kids,” a one-cent increase in the state sales tax, now, to stabilize school revenue.”

"While supporting the positive aspects of the framework, WAES will keep working for long-term funding reform that provides the actual cost of a quality education and “A Penny for Kids,” a one-cent increase in the state sales tax, now, to stabilize school revenue.”

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