Column: Representative Dallman Highlights Investments in K-12 Education

As summer is winding down, students all across the State of Wisconsin are heading back to school to kick off the year. With every new school year comes new challenges and over the past few months Legislative Republicans worked tirelessly to set our students up for success.

One of the key priorities for Legislative Republicans is making strong investments to give our students the resources they need to thrive. Our state budget made historic investments in K-12 education by providing support for our public schools and school choice programs, empowering parents to choose the school and type of education that is best for their child.

Funding for public schools continued our goal of two-thirds state funding, while boosting funding for key categorical aids such as special education, mental health, and high-cost transportation aid. The budget we passed increased new, spendable funds by $975 per student over the biennium.

Another significant investment made in this budget was for special education. We assisted our school districts in supporting students with special needs by investing $97 million to boost reimbursement rates to one third of costs.

There has been a troubling decline in student mental health and well-being over the last few years. Republicans set aside $30 million in new funding for school-based mental health initiatives, along with modifying how the funding is distributed to ensure all districts have access to these funds.

An additional final investment made was increasing transportation aid to $400 per pupil for students who are bused over twelve miles to and from school.

As the school year starts up again, I want to wish all the students, parents and teachers a warm welcome back and a successful school year.