Governor's Budget Proposal
Governor’s Budget Proposal Decreases Funding for Public Schools
Governor Scott Walker released his proposed 2015-17 state budget in early February. It became immediately clear that this budget proposal would have a negative impact on public schools across the state. It is now up to the state legislators to determine what changes they will make to that proposal in an effort to better support public education.
Revenue limits for school districts are set through the state budgeting process. Revenue limits are made up primarily of state aid and local property taxes. Until recently, revenue limits have increased at the rate of inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a guide. This has helped school districts to maintain programs that are vital to the success of our students. That funding method has changed in recent years and as a result, funding for public education has not kept up with inflation and thus has led to significant budget cuts and reduced opportunities for our students.
The 2015-17 proposed biennial state budget calls for a reduction in state aid of $150 per student. For the School District of Horicon that would result in a reduction of $124,950. In order to keep up with inflation, we would need to see an increase in funding of $152 per student. The net difference between the proposed budget and a budget that would keep up with inflation and thus allow us to maintain our current programs is $251,566. The Governor’s proposal also calls for increased funding for private voucher schools without the same accountability that is required for public schools.
See charts showing what has happened to our revenue limit as compared to CPI over the past seven years. Up until 2009, the per student revenue limits kept pace with inflation. Even with those increases, the School District of Horicon made significant cuts in our spending in order to balance our budget and keep tax rates lower. Please note that the 2015-16 numbers in the charts are projections.