MADISON — State Superintendent Tony Evers issued a statement today on the passage of the omnibus education motion by the Joint Committee on Finance. The motion covers the majority of K-12 public school funding provisions.
“As our kids return to the classroom this year, for the first time in my memory, Wisconsin has slipped below the national average in terms of funding public education. Although people across our state have asked this Legislature to pass a budget that prioritizes public school students, several of the provisions included in this motion undermine local control and concern me greatly.
“In particular, this proposal restricts the referenda that are keeping many schools afloat. It also expands the power of the statewide charter czar, again increases voucher income limits, and eliminates a sparsity aid increase for rural schools. Additionally, the changes to the Opportunity Schools Partnership Program need more time for review and could have a profound and devastating impact on the kids of Racine.
“I want to applaud citizens across this state for their grassroots, bipartisan efforts to champion public schools. I have seen people fighting to protect increases in pupil funding and for my proposal for a historic investment in school mental health. These efforts have a positive impact for kids. I hope we can keep focused on what’s good for kids as we get this budget signed into law.”