July 29, 2021

Legislative Republicans Refuse to Act on Education Special Session

Legislative Republicans Refuse to Act on Education Special Session Featured Image

Legislative Republicans have refused to act on an education special session called by Governor Tony Evers to boost funding for Wisconsin’s K-12 schools and higher education by $550 million. The Legislature convened and ended the special session on July 27 with no discussion or consideration of the governor’s proposal.

The governor and State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly called out the legislative inaction. “As school districts work to return to face-to-face instruction, the threat of the Delta variant rages,” Underly said. “Children under age 12, the majority of our school population, still cannot be vaccinated. Yet, instead of finding ways to help schools do the important work needed to help students recover academically, the legislature has ignored them.”

Evers called the July special session to readdress the lack of school funding in the 2021-23 state budget. The governor’s initial proposal had proposed investing $550 million in much-needed funds into public education, with $440 million for K-12 schools. That budget plan would have increased per-pupil aid and special education aids. When legislative leaders produced a budget that fell far shorter, the governor vowed to pursue other avenues to adequately fund public schools. However, instead of taking up a special session on education, Republicans failed to take up or even mention education.