MADISON, Wis. – Yesterday evening, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the state budget bill (Assembly Bill 56) on 60-39 vote. The Republican-authored budget drastically reduced key investments proposed by Governor Evers. These investments included an additional $611 million in general school aids (fulfilling the state’s commitment to 2/3rds funding), $606 million for special education reimbursements, and revenue limit adjustments that would have allowed school districts to spend more money in classrooms.
“Having seen this legislation pass, my initial feeling is to caution anyone who thinks this Republican budget is ‘good enough.’ We cannot for a moment allow complacency to set in. We must continue to fight even harder for adequate funding for our special education students and our students in poverty. Republicans must feel the pressure from parents, educators and administrators, and that pressure must not stop until every child in Wisconsin has equal opportunity.”
The budget passed by the Republicans cut $500 million from special education funding from the governor’s budget, fails to fulfill the state commitment for 2/3rds funding and fails to index the revenue limit per pupil adjustment to rise with inflation. The Republicans also cut out a provision in Governor Evers’ budget that would have frozen the state’s voucher programs, which directly compete for resources with public schools.
“Perhaps the biggest disappointment of this budget is the missed opportunity to make meaningful change in our classrooms for all students. Governor Evers laid out a sensible and sustainable plan to begin restoring needed resources after the inadequate and stagnant funding of the previous administration,” said Rep. Pope. “Quite frankly, the crumbs left by the Republican budget do not come close to making schools whole after they enacted the largest education cut in state history, and the following eight years of inaction. Our students and education professionals deserve much better.”