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Senate approves budget on bipartisan vote; next up: Gov. Evers

Senate approves budget on bipartisan vote; next up: Gov. Evers

The state Senate passed the 2021-23 state budget bill on a bipartisan vote of 23-9 with three Senate Democrats joining all Republicans in voting for the plan. The Senate made no changes to the bill passed by the Assembly and thus there were no changes to the K-12 provisions as approved by the Joint Finance Committee.

Like their counterparts in the Assembly, Senate Democrats proposed amendments to increase funding to schools in line with what the governor had originally proposed but they were also rejected on party-line votes. (more…)

State budget passes Assembly on bipartisan vote; Senate to vote today

State budget passes Assembly on bipartisan vote; Senate to vote today

The state Assembly passed the budget on a bipartisan vote of 64-34 with four Assembly Democrats joining all Republicans in voting for the plan. There were no changes to the K-12 provisions as approved by the Joint Finance Committee.

Assembly Democrats proposed an amendment to increase funding to schools in line with what the governor had originally proposed but it was turned down on a party-line vote. (more…)

Budget Committee’s K-12 Proposal Secures Federal Funding, Freezes Revenue Limits

After initially passing a K-12 state budget package that put federal COVID relief dollars at risk, lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee have approved an overall state spending plan for the next two years that preserves Wisconsin’s access to more than $2.3 billion in one-time federal funds for K-12 education. 

By adding $408 million to state general school aids over the next two years ($110 million in 2021-22 and $298 million in 2022-23) on top of K-12 spending previously approved on May 27 (see below), the committee-approved package meets “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirements imposed by Congress, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Those federal MOE provisions require the state to maintain the same proportion of its overall spending on K-12 education in the next two-year state budget as in previous state budgets.  (more…)

Week ahead: Both education committees hold hearings before final JFC action on state budget

This Thursday, June 17, the legislature’s budget-writing committee, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), will finish it’s work on the state budget. Included will be their plan to use the $4.4 billion in new revenue and how they will revisit K-12 education funding. The JFC’s original action on K-12 education included only a $128 million increase which did not meet inflationary needs for school district ongoing expanses and put federal relief funding at risk.

The WASB is encouraging members to reach out to their state lawmakers this week in advance of that vote. (more…)

LFB: $2.3 Billion in federal relief funding at risk

LFB: $2.3 Billion in federal relief funding at risk

The legislature’s budget committee’s state funding plan for K-12 education puts $2.3 billion in federal COVID relief funding for schools at risk according to a memo by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The memo states that Wisconsin is expected to meet the requirements in the first round of federal relief funding (CARES Act/ESSER I/GEERS I) but also confirms that further investment will be necessary to meet the requirements to capture approx. $2.3 billion in relief funding included in the second and third relief packages (ESSER II & ESSER III, respectively). (more…)