Why the State Budget Matters to All of Us

From the Capital Times

But school district spokesman Joe Quick said several provisions in the Assembly Republican budget could still create shortfalls or other problems for Madison schools.

Chief among those is funding for SAGE, the program that creates smaller class sizes for at-risk students. As part of a deal to allow the Milwaukee school choice program to expand, Doyle proposed increasing funding for the SAGE program by $250 per pupil. Assembly Republicans cut that money, Quick said, which would mean $716,000 less for Madison schools, Quick said.

Another GOP proposal aimed at reducing health care costs in schools would hit even harder. The Republican budget would freeze the amount local schools could raise from property taxes at $200 per student, instead of the $264 allowed by current law, if districts adopt health care plans that are more expensive than the state’s insurance plan.

That provision would force a $5 million cut because the district has already approved its contract with Madison teachers, Quick said.

“We’ve got contracts in place. We can’t lay off people now” to recoup those losses, he said. “Any cuts that would have to be made would get pushed off until the 2008-09 budget.”

This madness has to stop. Make your voices heard (info here)

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under AMPS, Budget, Local News, School Finance, Take Action

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