Assembly Republicans Now Asking for More K-12 State Funding As Well

MacIver News Service | May 8, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] Thirteen Republicans from the State Assembly want to increase funding for local school districts and raise the revenue caps, according to a letter sent to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) on Tuesday.

Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva), Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa), Rep. Tom Larson (R-Colfax) and ten other State Representatives have signed a letter to Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) requesting JFC to revisit Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal for K-12 education.

They wrote in the letter, “public schools serve as the backbone of our communities and provide the vast majority of our students an excellent education and afford them numerous opportunities.”

The letter comes at a time when JFC is debating Walker’s budget, including funding for local public school districts. The Governor’s proposal increases funding to K-12 education by $276.5 million, however without an increase in revenue caps legislators say this will only lead to property tax relief.

The letter could mark a substantial shift in the ongoing education budget debate. The letter sent Tuesday is the first time a group of Assembly Republicans has weighed in on this question.

Democrats and some Republicans in the Legislature would like to increase the revenue caps for local schools. One plan, from Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), would increase the revenue caps and per-pupil spending by $150 in the first year, and another $150 in the second.

The Ellis/Olsen plan would cost an additional $382 million, $229 million from the state and $153 million from property taxes.

JFC will be in executive session on Thursday, but will not debate the Department of Public Instruction’s funding. Continue to follow the MacIver Institute for up to date information on the 2013-2015 budget.