Wisconsin Budget “Fix” — The Saws Come Out

Two Lumbermen with Saw, from the Wisconsin Historical Imgages Collection

Two Lumbermen with Saw, from the Wisconsin Historical Images Collection

Albert  King, “Crosscut Saw” (click to listen or download).

Such large cuts to education in the Wisconsin state budget “fix” just released (budget papers references in the text can be found here), that the axes are temporarily going up on the shelf and the saws have come out .

No time for a full analysis, just listing some of the low lights:

  • Delete sate general school aids increase, $21,945,700.
  • Reduce General School Aids Funding, “$147,001,900 GPR annually in funding for general school aids, which would represent a reduction of approximately 3.1% from base level funding of $4,799,501,900.”
  • Undo the previous use of Stimulus money to fill 2008-9 gap. [see comments]
  • Reduce per pupil Revenue Limit increase from $277 to $200 for 2009-10 and set adjustment at $275 for 2010-11.
  • A “hold harmless” provision for Revenue Limit adjustments if the Consumer Price Index is negative (something good).
  • Delete SAGE increases.
  • Modify the effective date of the QEO repeal to July 1, 2010. “For school
    district collective bargaining agreements that begin on or after July 1,2009, and that are not settled on the effective date of the bill, provide that until July 1, 2010, interest arbitration on unresolved economic issues would only be permitted if consented to by both the school district employer and the collective bargaining representative. In addition adopt Alternative B1 in Paper #330.”
  • 2.5% reductions in categorical aids, see below for the ugly impact

cutsUgly, ugly ugly.  It is all ugly and will get uglier as the implementation of these cuts is debated in districts around the state.

More later, including a fact check to see if total education revenues actually ” increase by approximately 5% on a biennial basis.

Thomas J.  Mertz


Filed under "education finance", Budget, Contracts, education, Local News, School Finance, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Wisconsin Budget “Fix” — The Saws Come Out

  1. Hello TJ,
    What does this mean?

    Undo the previous use of Stimulus money to fill 2008-9 gap


  2. Laura

    This was a misreading on my part.

    In addition to using the state stabilization stimulus funds replacing state money for general operations in 2009-10 and 2010-11, Doyle had designated some of this money to back-fill a “new” gap in the 2008-9 budget. My first read was that this was nixed.

    Now that I read again, the references to 209 Act 11 have to do with the stimulus money in relation to the rev. caps.

    Good catch, sorry for the confusion.


    I’m not sure exactly what this means.

  3. Troy Dassler

    My letter to MY representative… So sad…

    I am writing because I am so very disappointed that even more cuts will be on the backs of teachers. I became a teacher in 1993, the first year of revenue caps and the QEO. I thought that once the democrats finally had control of all parts of state government and the Governor’s office we would finally see a change and the “War on Teachers” would finally be over. It is not over, it just has new generals. I know that you are hoping to maintain our majority, but you need to realize that it is on the backs of the teachers and children of the state of Wisconsin. I remember signing your nomination papers in front of Jennifer Street Market. I remember meeting with you at an MTI meeting on state funding reform last summer. I remember seeing you earlier this year at the South Central Federation of Labor.

    Raise taxes to pay for services. Do the 1% sales tax, I heard you on WPR boasting that you have not raised taxes, and so proud that you have cut funding to schools. I wanted to throw up. You sounding like you should be representing Whitefish Bay, not Madison.

    We can’t take any more cuts.

    Can you tell me what would be the difference for our schools if State Government was run by Republicans? The cuts would be even deeper? 300 Million is already very deep. That is on top of all of the horrible cuts that I see every day happening to the children I teach over the last 16 years.

    If you can explain this to me I would really appreciate it.

    Troy Dassler
    Robert Winters
    17 Rosemary Avenue
    Madison, WI 53714

  4. Laura Chern

    Thanks for posting. I have voted for Mark Miller whenever he has run. This is just shameful.

  5. I think we have to make them all know that their “safe seats”are no longer safe when they betray the ideals that got them elected.

    We do that now via letters and calls. If that fails to move them, we challenge them at election time.

    Without pressure and challenges, they will continue to take us for granted and listen only to the lobbyists and big donors.

  6. Jackie Woodruff

    Some progress, especially when it comes to open meetings:
    THU., JUN 11, 2009 – 10:28 AM
    Politics blog: Democrats vote to help offer four-year-old kindergarten in Madison
    Assembly Democrats yesterday amended the state budget bill to help offer four-year-old kindergarten in Madison.

    Voting behind closed doors, Democrats voted make several changes to the bill that would affect Madison schools and businesses. The changes would:

    Allow a proposed Dane County Regional Transit Authority to use money from a possible .5 percent increase in the sales tax to be used for roads as well as for public transportation.

    Provide a $500,000 grant to the Madison School District to help schools start offering four-year-old kindergarten.

    Remove provisions that would have made it easier for victims in negligence lawsuits to win full damages from defendants who are found to be only partially at fault for an accident.

    Leave in place a rule requiring state agencies to post legal notices of meetings and other events in the official state newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal.

    The Assembly is scheduled to take up the $62.2 billion state budget bill later today.

    For daily updates on area politics, keep your browser pointed to the State Journal’s politics blog:

  7. Pingback: Mark Pocan in the Lions’ Den — Last Monday’s MMSD Board Meeting « AMPS

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