Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Votes on Education

From the Wisconsin Public Education Network
Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) says: It’s time to Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Votes on Education

Madison public schools are a critical part of our community. Our schools are the basic building block of our future. Our excellent educators work
long hours to provide every child with the care and instruction they need to become productive, knowledgeable members of our society. Our
schools also face significant challenges: the increasing needs of our students, unpredictable and frequently insufficient state aid, changing and
often unfunded state mandates, and lack of resources to meet student needs.

State legislators no longer work together with local districts to ensure that our schools have the supports they need. Instead they have created a
complex system of “accountability” that blames schools (and students) for things that they cannot control. We believe that communities must
more visibly hold lawmakers accountable for the one thing they can control: their votes.

Using the standards developed by Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) GRUMPS reports that our local state legislators (Assembly
Representatives and State Senators) achieved the grade of “Met Expectations” on the 2019-21 state budget.  

Unfortunately, the legislature as a whole earned the grade of “Failed to Meet Expectations;” they failed to provide essential resources that could
have put local students in a position to thrive. As the Madison district begins talks about the need for a November 2020 referendum to increase
the operating budget, it is important to understand how the current budget affects the finances of the district. Here are some critical points:

The Madison district will receive 15% LESS from the state this year than last (only 12 districts had a greater decrease).

The district’s allowable, per pupil increase is $267 in 2019-20 and $179 in 2020-21.

The state will reimburse the district for mandated special education services at the rate of 26% this year and 30% next year.

The state is not providing adequate funding to maintain an excellent education. Furthermore, the legislature chose to allocate $427.7 Million for
private school vouchers and non-district charter schools. By way of comparison, private schools and non-district charters will receive $100 more
per pupil over the biennium than public schools are allowed to spend ($546 compared to $446).

We expect the best from our students, and we expect the best from state lawmakers.It takes a village to raise a child.Wisconsin has to become a
better village.