Wisconsin commission on school funding to meet

The Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will meet Friday, February 2 in Milwaukee.

The Commission, which has no classroom educators appointed to it, will hear testimony from invited speakers including representatives from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Southeast Wisconsin Schools Alliance and School Choice Wisconsin. Following the presentations, members of the public are invited to speak and share their thoughts, with testimony limited to five minutes each.

WEAC President Ron Martin encouraged parents, retired educators and public school advocates to get involved – noting that the public hearing is being held at a time when classroom educators will not be able to attend because they are working directly with students.

“As educators, we experience firsthand the impact of Wisconsin’s broken school funding system on students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “We know what solutions will work to advance student learning. It’s alarming that no classroom educators to tell firsthand how the inadequate and inequitable funding impacts learning every day.”

What:   Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
When:  Friday, February 2, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: James Madison Academic Campus, 8135 W. Florist Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53218

See the hearing notice.

The commission is tasked with examining:

  • The effects of distributing general aid through our equalization aid formula. Attention will also be given to other factors that could improve our efforts to provide equal educational opportunities to all pupils;
  • The relationship between declining enrollment districts and the fixed costs that districts face, and the possible incorporation of a minimum aid per district;
  • Evaluating transportation costs and how districts pay for those costs;
  • Review of high-cost categorical aids and the consideration of other aids that could be created to meet specific needs;
  • Methods to better align funding for various school choice options such as open enrollment, school choice and independent charter schools;
  • Consideration of funding levels for certain extended learning opportunities like summer school, preschool or dual enrollment;
  • Options to provide revenue-limit equity to low-spending districts; and
  • Other technical changes that could improve the transparency of the school finance system.