The state budget continues to be crap-tacular - it's apparently so messed up that the Joint Finance Committee won't meet this week because there is no agreement in how to fund Transportation or the Bucks arena. But one area that was passed out of the JFC and awaits action in the Assembly and Senate is K-12 education, which is featuring a shift of tens of millions of dollars from Wisconsin's public schools to vouchers that allow students to attend private schools (or help pay for their tuition if they're already attending the school). On that subject, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau put out a memo last week that indicated this voucher expansion would move between $600 million and $800 million from the public schools to the voucher schools over the next 10 years. Those hundreds of millions of dollars will have to be made up with cuts to school services and property taxes rising. Not just from Milwaukee, but from ALL school districts in the state.
Which is why I encourage you to listen to this recent conversation between State Rep. Andy Jorgensen and radio host John "Sly" Sylvester about the budget and especially K-12. They have a wide-ranging talk as to where we are, and why Jorgensen rightfully describes the state Legislature and its laws as a "laughingstock" with the one-sided and absurd bills that are in the budget. The second half also has a good discussion of the idiocy of trying to repeal prevailing wage and how it's part of an ongoing pattern of driving down wages throughout the Age of Fitzwalkerstan.
The more we know about these details that are getting shoved into the budget, the more disastrous is seems to get. And here's the scary part- we're one bad month of revenues away from having to fix THIS year's budget, with the possibility of additional cuts and adjustments to be made with this wrecking crew still in power.
P.S. Here's the Wisconsin Budget Project's always-excellent rundown of where the K-12 budget stands, which includes a discussion of the aid numbers, as well as the policy changes.