Today, Governor Tony Evers signed the 2021-23 state budget with no major changes to the K-12 provisions as passed by the legislature, and also announced he would allocate an additional $100 million in one-time federal funding for schools from COVID relief funds under the governor’s discretion.
The governor said he was unwilling to risk the $2.3 billion in federal funds for schools with a full veto of the budget and also acknowledged that “Republicans and their allies” were careful with the language included in the bill and did not provide an avenue to increase school funding with a line-item veto as he did in the last budget.
From the Governor’s veto message:
“This past year has been tough for all of us – but it’s been especially tough for students and their families, schools, and educators. Our schools and our students have faced unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus pandemic – from distance learning to reducing class sizes to spending money that had been budgeted for pencils on PPE. I have been working every day to find a way to get to yes for our kids and our
schools because that’s what they deserve – elected officials who will do more than the bare minimum. That’s why today I’m announcing I’m investing more than $100 million in federal funds into our kids and our public schools. Schools in districts across our state will be able to use these funds to support kids in the classroom, hire educators and staff, provide additional educational or mental health supports, buy art supplies, or computers, keep the lights on – whatever they need.”