Contact: John Forester
Madison, Wisconsin – John Forester, executive director of the School Administrators Alliance, released the following statement on the state budget signing today and Governor Scott Walker’s veto of the increase to the low revenue ceiling:
“Budgets are about choices. They’re about priorities. For the School Administrators Alliance (SAA) and the more than 4,000 public school administrators we represent throughout Wisconsin, our priority has always been improving the educational experience for the public school children we serve. For that reason, we are very pleased that the state budget, signed into law today by Governor Walker, places a high priority on the educational needs of Wisconsin’s public school children.
“We thank Governor Walker and the legislature for recognizing that every Wisconsin school district needs at least a $200 per-pupil revenue increase in each year of the biennium to support high-quality educational opportunities for the children they serve.
“We thank Governor Walker and the legislature for recognizing the plight of our students with mental health challenges and for supporting educators in their efforts to meet the needs of these students especially.
“We also thank Governor Walker and the legislature for their support of numerous other education policy initiatives, including much-needed increases in high-cost special education and high-cost transportation aids, personal electronic computing grants and teacher/administrator licensure flexibility.
“As with previous state budgets, the budget signed into law today contains some provisions we find very disappointing. Nonetheless, this budget is an important step forward in addressing the significant fiscal challenges facing school districts throughout Wisconsin. For that, we are grateful.
“We are extremely disappointed in several of Governor Walker’s budget vetoes, including those related to school district referendum scheduling and the energy efficiency exemption. But, our greatest disappointment is in the governor’s veto of the low revenue ceiling increase passed by the legislature.
“We know Governor Walker believes that the educational opportunities afforded to every child in Wisconsin should not be determined by their zip code. We believe an improved low revenue ceiling policy in Wisconsin is an important part of ensuring equitable resources for all children, no matter where they live.
“We would like to thank Representative John Nygren for his advocacy for low-revenue districts in this state budget process. Were it not for his efforts, this important issue might not have been part of the budget discussion.
“The current low revenue ceiling of $9,100 per pupil has now fallen to about 87 percent of the statewide average revenue limit per pupil. That is too low for a state that considers its school funding system equitable for all children.
“The low revenue ceiling will continue to be an extremely important issue for the children attending public school in Wisconsin’s low revenue school districts. The School Administrators Alliance will keep advocating for a significant increase in the low revenue ceiling in the future.”
The SAA is an alliance of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO), Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators (WASPA), and Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS). It advocates on behalf of school leaders in their efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s national leadership in education to ensure that the state’s children receive the highest-quality education possible.