Wisconsin Schools Funded Below 2010 Levels

Wisconsin Cannot Afford Republican Priorities of Tax Breaks for the Wealthy Over Education


Madison – More bad news for Wisconsin’s schools as a memo released today shows the reality of state funding cuts to schools all over Wisconsin. Governor Walker and Legislative Republicans have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from school budgets all over Wisconsin. A new memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that schools have seen their budgets cut below real dollar funding levels in 2010, with 49 school districts losing more than half of their general state aid support since the current leadership was elected.


“Our schools are struggling because of the lack of support from Governor Walker and Legislative Republicans. This is really about misplaced priorities. Shifting more and more public funds to private schools and signing a blank check for high cost tax breaks for Wisconsin’s most wealthy is a failed agenda,” said Erpenbach. “More than 2/3 of the school district serving the people of the 27th Senate District have had significant losses in state support in real dollars since 2010. The reality for our communities is loss of educational opportunities.”


These cuts for our schools come at a time when Republican tax breaks have signed a seemingly blank check for new tax breaks for Wisconsin’s wealthiest, with recent reports highlighting the 11 millionaires in Wisconsin getting a combined $21 million in tax breaks just next year.


“To look at these policies side by side shows just how bankrupt the Republican philosophy in Wisconsin has been. 49 school districts see their state funding cut by more than half on one hand, with 11 people getting a new tax break of $21 million dollars in the other. It is insane,” continued Erpenbach. “It does not get cheaper to run a school every year. The utilities do not get cheaper. Repairs to facilities do not cost less. Kids do not cost less to educate.”


Wisconsin Heights School District saw the biggest cut in school aid since 2010 in the 27th SD; in 2010 the district received $3.145 million in state support but last school year they received $1.49 million, a cut of -52.6%. This already struggling school district has been put in the position to drastically reduce student offerings. Other districts receiving significant state aid cuts in the 27th Senate District include Middleton-Cross Plains loss of -20.3%, Lodi -13.7%, and Mineral Point loss of -13.4%. See attachments for full 27th Senate District list and the statewide district memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.


“When we think about what jobs will be available for our children in the future do we say less opportunities in education with fewer supports is just what we need? That is certainly not what I am hearing from anyone in the 27th Senate District. Not from parents, not from businesses and not from the schools I serve. These failed Republican policies have had a devastating impact on our communities and these latest number show just how bad it is for our schools,” said Erpenbach.