Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Play

The youngest students along with faculty and staff will need to mask up in states like New Mexico; and President Biden calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report on sexual harassment.

Play

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to sexual harassment report; CDC places new limits on evictions until October; and a new study finds Democrats could lose control of US House in 2022 due to Republican gerrymandering.

K-12 Funding Emerges as Big Concern in WI Budget Talks

Play

Thursday, June 17, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. - Public-school advocates say they're alarmed about the education spending levels being floated in the Wisconsin Legislature - and one nonpartisan group says badly needed COVID-relief funds are at risk.

The Joint Finance Committee could wrap up its budget-writing process as early as today, ahead of votes later this month. The GOP-controlled panel has already endorsed an increase of $128 million in K-through-12 funding.

But Heather Dubois Bourenane, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Education Network, said it isn't as promising as it sounds.

"It provides a zero-dollar increase to new spending for most districts throughout the state," said Dubois Bourenane, "and all districts in terms of increasing revenue limits or getting spendable dollars into classrooms."

Republican leaders argue the plan sets aside more funding for schools to address such areas as mental health, and that states also get federal COVID-relief dollars for education.

But advocates and the U.S. Education Department warn Wisconsin risks becoming ineligible for the extra funding, since the state wouldn't commit to required education spending levels.

Critics of the budget proposal think it also puts too much into a rainy-day fund, instead of giving schools direct access to the money.

Dubois Bourenane said the loss of federal aid would be devastating for districts trying to make their buildings safer as they recover from the pandemic. She also called out Republican leaders for aiming for lower levels of reimbursement of special-education costs.

"We have never been in a position to heal some of the wounds caused by past budgets like this before," said Dubois Bourenane. "Why wouldn't we do it?"

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called for a higher threshold, as well as overall education spending of 90% more than what the committee endorsed. Dubois Bourenane argued the current plan would force districts to ask voters for local tax increases to cover the gaps.




get more stories like this via email
Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, could land on a list of more than 60 blacklisted companies prohibited from doing business with the State of Florida. (Stevepb/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…

Environment

BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …


Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is also asking the Arkansas Legislature to reconsider Act 977, which bans state and local officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …

Health and Wellness

SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…

Ayolanda Evans Mack of the group Protect Minnesota is at the helm of a new documentary about what it would take to rid a community of gun violence. (Black Light Media)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures. Ahead of that …

Social Issues

By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021