Here’s a list of specifics:
The governor’s budget would provide over the two years:
- $509 million for broad public school aid that districts could spend on teaching: a $200 per pupil increase for the 2017-’18 school year and an additional $204 increase in the 2018-’19 school year. This increase wouldn’t go through the state’s general aid formula, flowing instead through a special aid category with its own formula and the possibility that it could benefit suburban schools more than urban ones.
- A similar increase in money per student for taxpayer-funded private voucher schools to meet a requirement previously approved by Walker and lawmakers.
- $11.5 billion in total state spending on education, a new high before accounting for inflation, and enough to cover 64.6% of the cost of K-12 schools statewide. That would be below the state’s onetime target of paying for two-thirds of the cost of schools but is the best level since 2009, when the state hit 65.8% under then Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat.
- Total state school aid per public school increases — both general and special categories — to $6,588 in 2017-’18 and $6,902 in 2018-’19, a 3% bump in the first year and a 4.5% increase in the second from the current level of $6,376.
- $5.6 million in the 2018-’19 academic year for low-performing schools in Milwaukee to encourage improvements. Public, charter and taxpayer-funded private voucher schools could all compete for that money in the city, where 42 public schools didn’t meet expectations in the most recent report card.
- $2.8 million toward Milwaukee Public Schools’ summer school program.
- A range of funding for students with mental illness, including $2.5 million to connect students with mental health services; $500,000 more for students in Milwaukee through a different program; $3 million for school social workers in public and charter schools that are independent of public districts; and $1 million to train school workers on mental health screening.
- $7.6 million to help school districts connect disabled students with jobs.
- $300,000 for an online-based anti-bullying program being developed by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Department of Public Instruction.
As we have definitively determined, more money does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. I’d like to see what specific outcomes these expenditures are designed to improve.