The following is an excellent article that was in our local paper, The Monroe Times, on March 5, 2015 titled “Green County Superintendents: Call Lawmakers About Budget” and I quote:
|“3/4/2015 9:55:00 PM
“Green County superintendents: Call lawmakers about budget“
MONROE – Green County school superintendents held a Legislative Breakfast with their state representatives Feb. 23 to discuss concerns about school accountability, voucher expansion and fair school funding. The largest and most controversial topic was Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts to education, according to a news release from the superintendents.
As with other public school districts around the state, Green County districts would see a large decrease in revenue from the state if the governor’s budget stays intact, the superintendents said.
The governor’s budget includes no increase in general aid in 2016 and a $108 million increase in 2017; no increase in revenue limits in either year; and eliminates in 2016 and restores in 2017 a special categorical aid payment. While the budget outlook for public education will gain some ground back in 2017, it will dramatically decrease school budgets in 2016, the superintendents said.
They said the biggest surprise in the governor’s proposal is the $150 cut in per-pupil aid for 2016.
“While this hits every district differently, it is pretty easy to figure that the amount districts would lose is the number of students times $150. With the current budget proposal, districts in Green County would lose approximately $750,000 and would return to 2009 levels. While $165 per-pupil aid is added in 2017, it is a net loss of $135 per pupil over the biennium. Districts were lead to believe that school finance would remain intact for the 2015-17 biennium, but when the budget actually came out, this was not the case,” the release said.
Another concern in the budget is the expansion of the voucher system. “This is money that is taken out of the public school funds and used for students to attend private schools. Again, at the expense of public school students, the governor has continued his assault on the public school system. While state spending on K-12 education has slipped from eighth highest in the nation in 2000 to 26th in 2012, (wistax.org), our public education system has remained one of the strongest in the nation. The drop in the states financial support and lack of support from the governor will eventually start to erode away the hard work that is being done in our public schools,” the release said.
Superintendent Lenny Lueck said Brodhead, a district already struggling financially, will see a direct impact on students. “With less state aid, we have had to balance our budgets at the expense of our students, staff and facilities. We were not prepared to go backwards in state financing even more,” he said.
Superintendent Al Brokopp, Monticello, urged community members to contact their legislative representatives and express their concern regarding the budget’s effect.
All of the Green County Superintendents would like to see their communities send a strong message in support of public schools, the release said.
Legislators attending agreed they had “significant concerns over this budget” as it will have a detrimental effect on Wisconsin as a whole. They reiterated the fact that people need to contact government officials and express their concerns. These communications are tracked and representatives can use this data to send a strong message from the people.
More information about the governor’s budget can be found at wistax.com. A list of local representatives can be found at http://legis.wisconsin.gov.”
(THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS I WROTE MY LETTER TO OUR LOCAL PAPER, THE MONROE TIMES WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN THEIR MARCH 5, 2015 EDITION TITLED “THE MONROE TIMES: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: WALKER HAS NO RESPECT FOR LIVING WAGE.” WHEN ONE COUNTY CAN LOSE APPROXIMATELY $750,000 IN SCHOOL FUNDS FROM THE STATE BECAUSE OF THE CUTS IN WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, SCOTT WALKER’S BUDGET, YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME THING WE DID AND THAT IS–CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS, WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND PARTICIPATE IN RALLIES LIKE WE DID ON MARCH 12, 2011 WHEN WE WERE MARCHING AROUND THE SQUARE IN MADISON, WISCONSIN, CHANTING “THIS IS WHAT A DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” A DEMOCRACY IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO WORK ON EVERY DAY, OTHERWISE, YOU LOSE IT.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed,Independent, Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen and AARP Members