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Sen. Marklein Statement on $500 Million More for Schools

Madison, WI – Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement on the Joint Finance Committee’s (JFC’s) actions to increase funding for schools by $500 million.
“The Joint Finance Committee made the largest investment in schools in the history of Wisconsin today. We are spending $500 million more for school funding to bring total school spending to $12.3 billion in the next biennium. We increased special education funding by nearly $100 million. By 2021, we will cover 30% of special education costs, which is exactly what Governor Evers’ asked for in the last budget as State Superintendent of Schools.
I have talked to leadership in many of the 35 school districts I represent and their priorities were to increase per pupil and special education spending. I confirmed with several of them, this morning, that our plan is in line with their priorities and they heartily agreed. They all told me that our plan will make a difference in the districts I represent.
Public education is – and always has been – a priority for me. The plan we approved today gives our schools funds and tools to meet the needs of our kids. We invested more directly in classrooms all over Wisconsin and I am proud of our work.
Our education budget spends a lot more on our kids while respecting taxpayer dollars. Those who criticize our plan are focused on an unrealistic, blue-sky wish list of spending that raises taxes and sacrifices other priorities. Our plan is a compromise that most school districts strongly support and I hope that the Governor will listen to the school district leaders who are applauding this plan.
It is important to remember that the State Budget must balance all of our priorities – schools, health care, transportation and much, much more. Education is still the biggest piece of our budget pie and we made tremendous investments today.”

Marklein represents the 17th Senate District, which includes all or parts Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties. Marklein serves on the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee and is Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions.