October 2, 2020Christina Brey

Information on the 2021-23 State Education Budget

Some information from the Department of Public Instruction has been released about its 2021-23 state budget proposal, covering agency operations and public libraries.

Carolyn Stanford Taylor, State Superintendent, laid out her budget priorities during her September State of Education Address, noting that the proposal is grounded in educational equity that seeks the resources all schools need to provide each child a quality education. She expects to submit her final budget proposal in early November to better facilitate better estimates for school aids using the most up-to-date information on enrollment, but is expecting to include an increase to special education categorical aid and for mental health.

K-12 Budget Information

  • The department requested an increase of 0.13% over BYD.
  • The department requested $89,000 GPR in FY22 and $466,000 GPR in FY23 to maintain the current level of services to school districts across the state under the Academic and Career Planning program and to study the impact of Academic and Career Planning on student outcomes.
  • The department requested $400,000 GPR in FY22 and $900,000 GPR in FY23 in a new sum-sufficient appropriation, to subsidize testing fees for individuals taking the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) tests. The department also requests $1,045,000 GPR in FY22 in a new biennial appropriation, to create an automated, online GED credentialing system and to digitize paper records.
  • The department requested $500,000 GPR in FY22 and $500,000 GPR in FY23 to increase support for existing mental health training programs, to expand the types of mental health trainings that can be offered, and to increase the capacity of the WISH Center to deliver trainings.
  • The department requested a decrease of $2,000,000 GPR in FY22 and a decrease of $2,000,000 GPR FY23 to reflect the reestimate of amounts required for contracts with vendors to fulfill the department’s obligations under state and federal law for administering standardized pupil assessments.
  • The department requested that the appropriation for WISELearn be decreased, by $150,000 GPR in FY22 and by $200,000 GPR in FY23, and to reallocate the GPR budget authority for a dedicated funding source for Recollection Wisconsin, as proposed by the department in its 2021-23 biennial budget request. See DIN 5003 for more information about the Recollection Wisconsin project.
  • The department requested modifications to appropriation for educator licensing:
    • Change the appropriation type from an annual, sum certain appropriation, to a continuing appropriation. This would be designated by a change in the Chapter 20 schedule, under “type” from “A” to “C”. Within the language under s. 20.255 (1) (hg), the language would change from “The amounts in the schedule” to “As a continuing appropriation”.
    • Eliminate the statutory requirement that the department lapse 10 percent of revenue collected from the licensing application fees to the state’s general fund at the end of each fiscal year.
  • The department requested increases of $2,500,000 SEG in FY22 and $4,000,000 SEG in FY23 for the appropriation for aid to public library systems to support the operations and maintenance of public library services in Wisconsin

WI Technical College System Information

  • The WTCS requested an increase of 2.1% over BYD.
  • The WTCS requested $12 million in GPR funding in 2021-22 and $12 million in GPR funding for 2022-23 for a total of $24 million for grants to district boards (Appropriation 20.292(1)(f)) to provide approximately 2,000 WTCS students each year of the biennium with education and academic support. The effort will target adult basic education students and English language learners enabling them to attain short-term credentials and help Wisconsin meet its workforce needs for essential occupations. Remove the statutory language that requires the WTCS Board and the UWS Board of Regents approve the expansion of Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree programs at WTCS colleges. (Rebuilding the Economy; Expanding Opportunity Budget Initiative)
  • The WTCS requested an increase of $50,000 to the WTCS firefighter training state operations appropriation (which is funded from the 2% fire dues program) in each year of the biennium to acquire up-to-date fire certification software.
  • The WTCS requested repeal of the following reports:
    • High School Enrollments at Wisconsin Technical Colleges – Wis. Stat. 38.04(21)
    • Assessment of Economic Development Programs – Wis. Stat. 38.04(10m)(b)
    • Applied Technology Centers – Wis. Stat. 38.04(10)(d)(2);
    • Veterans Success – Wis. Stat. 38.31(3);
    • Student Discrimination – Wis. Stat. 38.23(3).
  • The WTCS requested change to the reporting frequency from annual to biennial for:
    • Emergency Assistance Grants – Wis. Stat. 38.42(6)(b)
    • Grants to District Boards – Wis. Stat. 38.04(32)(b)

In her State of Education Address, Stanford Taylor said she is aware of how economic realities will impact the state budget. “However, it is my hope our leaders can and will continue to prioritize public education and the needs of our most vulnerable learners,” she said, later calling the last state budget that included modest investments to restore some of the historic cuts over the past decade a “toe in the door.”