From the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools. Table of contents below, click here for the a pdf of the full update, click on linked items for related content on AMPS.
I also want to highlight the most important and exciting item: the “Pennies for Kids” dedicated sales tax campaign. This is a major initiative to try to get our state lawmakers to enact a new revenue source for investments in education. Although not the “big fix” comprehensive reform so many of us have been working for, it would provide crucial resources to meet the growing crisis caused by decreased state aid and rising school property taxes, while simultaneously moving Wisconsin closer tor adequate, equitable and sustainable school funding. Watch for more in the coming weeks and months (Disclosure: I am on the Board of WAES).
Here is what the WAES update has to say:
As crisis grows, WAES goes after “Pennies for Kids”
The crisis of funding in Wisconsin ’s public schools is so deep and so wide that immediate legislative action is needed to just protect the education our children have now─much less the education they deserve in the future.
To address that crisis, WAES has launched “Pennies for Kids,” a campaign to raise the sales tax one-cent to help fill the gap in public school funding created by the 2009-11 budget and to try to keep the lid on property taxes. At the same time, WAES will continue to work for comprehensive reform, understanding the long-term answer to the problem is a new, sustainable funding system that recognizes the needs of children and the goal of quality education for every student.
If passed, a one-cent increase in the sales tax will raise about $830 million annually. According to the plan being worked out by WAES members, the largest portion of that revenue would be devoted to children in classrooms through increases in categorical aid. Additionally, because it would increase the state’s share of school aid “Pennies for Kids” would slow increases in property taxes expected in the wake of the most recent state budget. To find out more about this new initiative — and to find out how you can get involved — got to http://www.excellentschools.org.
WAES School-funding reform update, week of Sept. 28
- As crisis grows, WAES goes after “Pennies for Kids”
- Wisconsin faces explosion of kids in poverty
- As predicted, frustration and anger growing around the state
- Manitowoc area school districts “dealing the hand they’re dealt”
- Point administrators, board, and support staff agree to pay freeze
- Dunn County Retired Educators Association joins WAES
- Former DPI candidate calls for statewide school-funding referendum
- SAGE is a resounding success for Appleton’s poorest children
- Wisconsin families open enrolling children into higher spending districts
- Levy defeated so district eliminates all extra-curricular activities
- DPI has great glossary of school-funding terms
- Help WAES correct e-mail update glitch
- School-funding reform calendar
Thomas J. Mertz