Legislative update – February 27

Legislative/Budget Overview

As the governor’s proposed budget continues to draw analysis, WEAC is particularly concerned with components that would take local control away from elected school boards and the communities they serve. One such provision is the proposal that would withhold state funding for public school students in a school district that fails to meet and report certain aspects of Act 10.

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“Local communities are more capable of operating their neighborhood public schools than politicians,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Educators and school leaders in Milwaukee, Madison and across the state have raised concerns about this continuation of the trend where lawmakers, who have no idea of what it takes to run a school, want to micromanage everything from staffing to curriculum.”

The governor’s proposal is the starting point for discussions by the Legislature, including how elected officials will address missing components they campaigned on including funding for roads and expansion of the tax-funded private school voucher program.

Legislative action will continue during the first week of March, with the Senate in session on Tuesday, March 7, and the Assembly in session on Tuesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 9.

Last Week in Review

February 23

  • Broadband expansion goes to committee. Senate Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues Committee held a hearing on SB-049, which was introduced by Senator Howard Marklein. The bill pertains to waiving certain fees and appraisals, and makes appropriations for the information technology block grant program and the broadband expansion grant program.

February 21

  • A bill to change the way state aid payments are made was referred to committee. The Assembly Education Committee will take up AB-77, which was authored by Representative Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton). The bill would require 25 percent of state aid to be paid in each of the four current installments.
  • Word was released that the governor’s budget includes $803 million in building projects. The capital improvement proposal includes nearly $449.9 million in new bonding and $128 million for UW System projects.

February 20

  • Co-sponsorship sought on state exams and opt-out. Jeremy Thisfeldt is circulating legislation for co-sponsorship on Pupil Exam Opt-Out (LRB-0277Memo) which would allow a pupil’s parent or guardian to opt the student out of certain statewide examinations, and another on Pupil Exam Information (LRB-0276 Memo), on providing information about mandatory pupil examinations.

Don’t see something in the wrap-up? Looking for more information? Contact Christina Brey.