Wisconsin general school aid will increase by a small amount in the coming year, but not nearly enough to make up for the damage done by destructive state funding cuts over the past two budgets and the funneling of taxpayer dollars to privately run charters and the unaccountable school voucher program.
The Department of Public Instruction released its general aid estimate for the coming school year, and it shows that about half of school districts will see slight increases while about half will see less state aid. Overall, the total general aid increase statewide is 2.1 percent over last year, but actual aid payments will be less because aid to neighborhood public schools is reduced to pay for the Milwaukee voucher program and privately run charter schools in Milwaukee and Racine.
WEAC President Betsy Kippers, a teacher with more than 30 years classroom experience, called the news a stark example of the impact of bad budgeting and backward policies of the current governor.>/p>
“It’s time to stop state budgets that fail children, public schools and Wisconsin,” said Kippers. “It’s time for the majority of working families to say no to budgets that place students in unaccountable private schools at a higher priority than those in public schools. All children matter, and leaving most behind while supporting a few are unacceptable.
“The majority of Wisconsin citizens value public education and its role in building a strong democracy, a strong economy and a strong Wisconsin,” Kippers said. “Policymakers need to hear from us again and again if we’re to overcome the powerful, well-funded dark money bent on weakening our neighborhood public schools.”