Tony Evers has proposed fixing Wisconsin’sschool fundingformula to provide more money to a vast majority of districts, stating “We have to move toward a more fair and equitable way of funding our schools.”
Background: Noting that Wisconsin education funding is often a bi-product of district wealth, Superintendent Evers appear to be examining ways to even the system a bit. Wisconsin’s current funding system creates inequities; for instance, K-12 spending per pupil for 2008-09 ranged from $10,293 in Elk Mound to $23,679 in Phelps (a high/low ratio of 2.3 to 1). Property tax revenue, school aid and credit programs do not consider relative property wealth, and disparate school needs (poverty, specquisitioncial ed, and language acquisition. Governor Walker, however, “doesn’t anticipate any major changes to the school funding formula. He said changes to the formula create winners and losers and would be difficult to get through the Legislature.”
Implications for Wisconsin Public Schools:Wisconsin public schools have seen a cut of $1 out of every $8 spent on K-12 students since 2008 and Wisconsin’s Act 10 has ushered in a “free agency” in which rural schools, facing increasing transportation costs and decreasing enrollment, cannot compete. School vouchers also create losses for schools, even if no students leave the district. School funding must be looked at to ensure every Wisconsin student has equitable access to education.