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    June 9, 2017

Governor Walker introduced a strong budget that moves Wisconsin forward with lowering the tax burden, investing in education at all levels and moving power out of Madison and closer to your home. However, it is healthy and not uncommon to have a coequal branch of government propose ideas reflecting the interests of districts they represent throughout the state. Last month the Assembly introduced our proposal for transportation and tax policy and this week we introduced an education proposal that also addresses long term reforms to ensure our education system reflects our values and 21st century realities. Both plans build upon the base of the Governor's budget proposals.

The Assembly GOP Education Proposal guarantees that every single school district in Wisconsin will receive more state aid than they do today with $600M in new money being proposed for schools. Additionally, this proposal lowers state spending while putting more money into the classroom than the current budget proposal.
One of the main goals of the proposal is to make changes to the funding formula so that over time there will be greater parity in funding among the districts and more sustainability. For instance, low-spending districts under this proposal will have the ability to spend more than high-spending districts. This rewards the districts that have been the most responsible with taxpayer resources.
Listed below are the changes to current law under the Assembly GOP Education Proposal for the school districts of Elmbrook, Milwaukee and Wauwatosa in the 14th Assembly District.
Elmbrook: $3,634,956*
Milwaukee: $32,813,160*
Wauwatosa: $4,468,558*
*Please note that these dollar amounts are estimates that represent the net effect of per pupil categorical aid, low-revenue, and open enrollment changes under the Assembly GOP Education Proposal. Not included in these estimates are the over $100M in new state general aid to schools or other special categorical aid programs.
Currently, when a referendum is passed by a school district, the increased spending is covered in proportion to how the school district is aided by the state. This means that taxpayers across the state are essentially paying for increased spending by school districts. The Assembly GOP proposal seeks to limit this buy down of school referendums and ultimately lowers property taxes from what they are today.
Here are more of the highlights from the proposal:
Property taxes will be lower than they are today.
  o Results in a net levy of $2,842 on the median-valued home. This is a $10 decrease from a net levy of $2,852 today and $121 below the net levy in 2010.

Targets aid to frugal, low-spending school districts.
  o Levy limits, while useful, have left frugal school districts locked into low levy limits, first established in 1993, which have not kept pace with the cost of education.
  o Levy limits range from about $9,200 per pupil in the Freedom School District to over $15,000 per pupil at Nicolet UHS (suburb of Milwaukee).

This plan begins to level the playing field.

  o About 60% of K-12 students in the state attend a school in a school district with a levy limit below the statewide average.
  o Over 200 school districts have a levy authority below $9,800 per pupil.

More new money in the classroom than the Governor’s budget.
  o Compared to the Governor’s budget, this proposal increases the amount of K-12 resources available to school districts by at least $12M statewide.

Less overall GPR spending.
  o By limiting the buying-down of school referenda, the plan more efficiently allocates taxpayer resources and spends about $70M less than the Governor’s budget.

If you would like more details on the Assembly GOP Education Proposal, please click here for the LFB memo, here for the breakdown by district or feel free to contact my office. 


State Capitol - Room 324 East | Post Office Box 8952 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708
(608) 266-9180 | Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov