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Monroe School Board: Resolution to state lawmakers
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The following is the text of a resolution approved by the Monroe school board on April 13: Whereas, Wisconsin has a long tradition of providing a high-quality public education system; and Whereas, investing in pubic education is an investment not only in our students' capacity for success beyond high school but an investment in economic development and the future of Wisconsin; and Whereas, since the 1993-94 school year, school districts have been operating under state imposed revenue limits that cap the amount schools can collect in state aid and local property taxes combined, and thus serve to limit school spending; and Whereas, until recently, revenue limits have been increased annually at the rate of inflation to accommodate increases in costs to school districts and to provide a stable and predictable annual increase for schools to use in budgetary planning; and Whereas, Governor Walker's proposed 2015-17 state budget allows no increase in revenue limits in either the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school years; and Whereas, Governor Walker has proposed a $150 decrease per student in public school funding for per pupil categorical aid for 2015-16 school year; Whereas, this $150 decrease per student results in a $375,000 cut in revenue to the School District of Monroe; Whereas, when factored together (per pupil aid cut plus no inflationary revenue cap increase) the overall reduction in educational opportunities for public school children in Monroe is compounded upwards approaching $1,000,000; Whereas, although the Governor proposes adding roughly $142 million (about $165 per pupil) to the per-pupil categorical aid in the second year of the biennium, the net result is a cut of approximately $135 per pupil ($112 million) over the biennium; Whereas, the proposed budget also expands taxpayer subsidies to private voucher schools which will take additional money away from state general aid to school districts (on top of the aforementioned cuts) and reduce opportunities for public school children; and Whereas, while the proposed budget provides an additional $105.6 million in each year to increase the school levy tax credit, this money will be paid to municipalities not school districts and does not provide resources directly to schools. Although the name of this tax credit suggests it provides money for schools, its only connection to school budgets is that it is calculated based on the proportional amount of existing school levies. These dollars simply flow to taxpayers as property tax relief, meaning schools will have no ability to access these funds for the educational needs of their students; Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Board of Education for the School District of Monroe, strongly calls upon Governor Walker, Senator Howard Marklein, Representative Todd Novak and their colleagues in the State Legislature to revise the budget to restore school funding in 2015-17 to educationally adequate levels to include no decrease in year 1 anticipated revenue while also providing for inflationary revenue increases in both years.