We are on an incredibly positive path in Madison. We are making exciting progress and we have a lot of momentum behind us.

Unfortunately, the governor’s state budget proposal does not provide real support for public schools. Rather than supporting our improvement, this budget proposal clearly prioritizes private school vouchers, the authorization of independent charters and politics over real support for public schools and our students.

What does the governor’s state budget proposal budget mean for Madison Schools?

  • Major cuts to funding: School districts receive funding from state government to support education. Over the past several years, public school districts have seen dramatic decreases in support from the state. The current budget proposal decreases support to schools even more.
    • In 2015-16, the budget decreases per pupil aid by $150 per student, a cut of more than $4 million for Madison schools.
    • In addition, our district is projecting a loss of an additional $3.2 million in general aid from the state. The governor’s budget proposal provides no additional general aid.
    • The governor’s budget also includes no increase in revenue limits, meaning we have very limited ability to make up for lost funding from the state.
  • Draining resources for years to come: In addition to immediate funding challenges, the budget proposal also provides more taxpayer funding to private school vouchers and independent charter schools, which will drain resources from local public schools.
    • Neither private school vouchers or independent charters have a consistent record of improving education for children.
    • Private school vouchers take funding directly from school districts and could raise local property taxes.
    • Independent charter schools take away from the state aid pool, meaning our aid could decrease no matter where charter schools are created in the state.

Rather than invest in what we know works, this proposal puts resources in strategies with mixed results at the expense of our public school students.

  • Creating disruption and instability: School district needs a stable environment, where educators can focus on their day to day work with students, in order to be successful. The budget proposal also creates an environment of disruption and instability that undermines our efforts to create lasting improvement that serves all children.
      • Assessment: The budget proposal eliminates the Smarter Balanced Assessment after its first year of administration, putting school districts in an incredibly difficult position - we will be asked to administer a new assessment this year, knowing that it does not have a future.
      • Accountability system: The budget proposal also includes accountability measures including the choice of multiple tests that do not fairly compare schools. It also includes a ranking system based on letter grades, which do not accurately communicate a school’s progress and inevitably lead to reactive strategies. These accountability measures are not about creating a path to improvement, but create a politicized environment that does not help teaching and learning.

If you would like to contact your legislators to tell them what you think about the state budget proposal, you can do so by emailing:

Senator Erpenbach: sen.erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Miller: sen.miller@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Risser: sen.risser@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Berceau: rep.berceau@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Hesselbein:rep.hesselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Kahl: rep.kahl@legis.wisconsin.gov
Represenatative Sargent: rep.sargent@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Pope: Rep.Pope@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Subek: Rep.Subeck@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Taylor: rep.taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov

You can also contact members of the Joint Finance Committee:

Senator Darling (Co-Chair): Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Nygren (Co-Chair): Rep.Nygren@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Kooyenga (Vice-Chair): Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Olsen (Vice-Chair): Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Harsdorf: Sen.Harsdorf@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Vukmir: Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Tiffany: Sen.Tiffany@legis.wi.gov
Senator Marklein: Sen.Marklein@legis.wi.gov
Senator L. Taylor: Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Erpenbach: sen.erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Loudenbeck: Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Knudson: Rep.Knudson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Schraa: Rep.Schraa@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Czaja: Rep.Czaja@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative C. Taylor: rep.taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov
Representative Hintz: Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov