Wednesday, August 16, 2017

GOP budget dysfunction means K-12 schools will likely struggle again

The largest part of the delayed Wisconsin state budget is aids to K-12 schools, and with Milwaukee Public Schools already opening up this week, and other most public schools following in 2 weeks, these districts are dealing with some serious uncertainty.

Molly Beck of the State Journal had an in-depth breakdown of the difficulties many districts are having in trying to pinpoint how much money they will have available for the start of the school year, and how some schools might have to take out a loan to pay the bills until the budget is finalized.
The leaders of the state Senate have said lawmakers on the state’s budget-writing committee could resume work on the budget Aug. 23. But if a budget is not in place eight days later, schools in rural areas will miss state payments they usually get in September to subsidize school operations, according to a memo from the Department of Public Instruction sent to budget-writing committee members this month.

“(The delay) may cause some districts to have to short-term borrow to cover this deficit,” said Kim Kaukl, executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance. “The majority of our districts are already working with very tight budgets and any aid delay in payments can have a serious impact.”

DPI spokesman Tom McCarthy said the department could push back the rural school payment deadline if lawmakers gave DPI a “clear signal” that the budget was going to be passed quickly.
A couple of large complications in figuring out the final amount of school aids is whether the Fox-con becomes law in the next 2 weeks, as that might restrict the amount of revenue available, and it is unknown how much voucher money will be funneled away from schools, and this caused many districts to back off on hiring and improvements for this year. This means that the start of the school year could be quite a mess.
...[Since] Republican lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly have each proposed separate education spending plans. Kaukl said a number of rural school districts have delayed hiring and purchasing until they know what is included in the state budget.

“This may mean classes may begin with substitute teachers covering a class, classrooms being overloaded or, worse case, courses being dropped,” Kaukl said.
That is NOT what Governor Walker wanted when he put in a proposed increase in K-12 school spending in this pre-election budget. But all Scotty seems to care about these days is selling and shoving through the Fox-con instead of giving a damn about what happens with the budget. And Walker and the Legislature have no one to blame but themselves, because it is their dysfunction, corruption (especially on vouchers) and no-tax gimmickry that prevented them from coming up with a sensible solution in a K-12 budget that should have been relatively easy to figure out.

It's completely unacceptable, and it's yet another example of why these self-absorbed WisGOP clowns at the Capitol need to be kicked to the curb ASAP.

No comments:

Post a Comment