By Tim Kowols
Governor Scott Walker is hopeful his proposed education budget will help school districts not rely on voters for additional funding. The governor has proposed $649 million in new state money for public and private schools, which would be a $200 per pupil increase in spending each of the next two years. Increases to sparsity aid and high-cost transportation funding are also included in the budget plan, two areas that are expected to help Door County school districts finding themselves in a constant cycle of operational referenda. During his stop at Sevastopol School last week, Gov. Walker expressed his confidence that his measures will help schools get the funding they need without relying on the ballot box.
School districts can still go to referendum if needed, but state lawmakers are currently working on bills restricting when and how often the questions can appear on the ballot. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Joint Finance Committee is considering a $91 million cut to Governor Walker’s education budget proposal, affecting per pupil aid and revenue limit authority.