FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     August 29, 2017

Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831

Pupil Funding Increased as Students Return to the Classroom

Representative Tusler Excited About Funding For Third District Schools

Madison, WI – Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee adopted an education funding plan which spends more than $600 million in the classroom and rewards frugal schools by raising the low-revenue ceiling. Per-pupil funding will increase by $200 and $204 in the first and second years of the biennium respectively.

“Our great public schools received a big boost yesterday and will keep Wisconsin’s public education system one of the best in the country,” said Rep. Tusler. Wisconsin’s public schools ranked fourth best in the nation according to a recent report. “This budget puts more money in the classroom, helps rural schools, increases access to educational opportunities, and focuses on retaining and rewarding great teachers.”

All school districts in the Third Assembly District will see increased funding from the 2015-17 state budget:

School District

Estimated Funding Over

15-17 Budget Amounts

Brillion                 

$706,435

Kimberly Area            

$2,782,628

Little Chute Area        

$989,261

Stockbridge              

$95,356

 

The Committee also approved $1.6 million to fully fund the sparsity aid program and created a new program to prevent school districts from losing sparsity aid year to year. This will help ensure that rural schools have the funding needed to provide the materials and classroom programs students need so not to fall behind urban and high-revenue school districts. Further, $1 million will be spent to connect future teachers with rural school districts to address teacher shortages. Teachers will now also be able to receive lifetime teaching licenses. Simplifying the licensing process will help school districts meet workforce needs.

Wisconsin’s school choice program eligibility was also expanded to 220% of the Federal Poverty Level, giving more families more options when making educational decisions for their children.

“We are spending at least $200 per pupil in the classroom, increasing overall education funding more than last budget and giving parents choice when it comes to educating their children all while keeping property taxes lower than in 2010, 2014, and today,” said Tusler.

The Joint Finance Committee will finish its work on the state budget next week before it heads to the Assembly and Senate for approval by both chambers, which is expected sometime in September.

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