EDUCATION BILLS IN THE STATE BUDGET

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Education bills will probably come up before the Joint Finance Committee by the end of May. Once the budget bill passes through the Joint Finance Committee, it goes to the Assembly and then the Senate for floor debates and votes.

Then it goes to the Governor who has veto power but cannot make additions at that point. The governor has suggested he will fund transportation needs from the general purpose revenues, the same source that funds school aid. Assembly leaders have introduced a tax/transportation funding plan that could diminish funds for public schools.

AB 267 is the WI Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill. It would include a line item on your property tax bill showing the amount of any new reduction in state aid that is a result of the voucher program. This would show more clearly the tax increases due to vouchers.

AB 268 would limit a referendum to ask for money from citizens for a maximum of 5 consecutive years. This would limit referendums from passing at all. Any referendum that has already passed would expire in 5 years.

AB269 would limit a school referendum to taking place only during the spring election or the general election in the fall.

SB 227 is the Taxpayer Oversight/voucher Referenda Bill would require a district to go to referendum before using tax dollars to pay for private school tuition vouchers.

SB 211 Increases Special Education Reimbursement to 33 per cent.

SB 82 provides a penalty for those who make gun threats against schools.

AB 285 Reducing State Aid to Schools that Pass Referendums. This bill would stop school districts from going to referendum because their state aid would be greatly reduced.

AB 247 “Right to Carry” or “Constitutional Carry” Gun Bill would allow guns in our K-12 public schools without the requirement of a safety training course.

Schools receiving high vouchers re-categorized as PUBLIC. This bill is authored by Representative Sondy Pope. This bill requires any school with 50% or more of its students receiving voucher money to be recategorized as a public school. There would be a publicly elected school board and the school would have to serve all children equally. The school would have to meet the same accountability standards as all other public schools.