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State schools superintendent Evers rolls out new funding plan

by
Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s school superintendent announced a new funding plan Monday that would increase state aid to most districts – provide more targeted aid to certain areas – and give all K-12 state funding directly to schools.

Tony Evers is asking Governor Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers to boost total school aid by 2.4 percent for the year ending in July of 2014 – and 5.5 percent more for the following year. The total increase is $615 million for the two-year period.

Besides the general school aid, Evers says seven specific funding categories would get increases to meet certain goals. They include boosting graduation rates, expanding career and technical education, boosting subjects like science and math, helping financially-strapped rural districts, more money to teach English, more funds for private school choice, and supporting programs that improve school accountability.

Among other things, Evers says high schools and tech schools could work together to provide training. Higher poverty districts would also get more state aid – accounting for family incomes instead of just a school system’s property values.

By giving all state aid to schools, taxpayers would no longer get school credits seen on both their property tax bills and income tax returns. A printed statement on the proposals did not mention an effect on the income tax, but Evers said it would, “hold the line on net property taxes.”

Evers said it would raise state aid to 402 districts, and keep 22 others the same. He said it would get the state closer to returning to its years-old commitment to have the state fund two-thirds of all public school costs.

Evers was scheduled to discuss the plan Monday at a news conference in West Allis. 

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