The Latest: Evers praises Walker while others criticize
Jan. 08, 2018
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on proposal to boost school funding (all times local):
State superintendent Tony Evers is praising a bill backed by Gov. Scott Walker that would increase funding for rural schools and allow other low-spending districts to raise property taxes without a vote.
Evers has backed such increases before. Evers is a Democratic candidate for governor, hoping to take on Walker in November.
While Evers was praising Walker's proposal Monday, Democratic Senate minority leader Jennifer Schilling was calling it a "hollow campaign gimmick."
Walker is proposing a nearly identical change for low-spending districts that he vetoed out of the state budget just four months ago.
Walker worked with Republican lawmakers on the bill and says he will tout it in his State of the State speech.
The co-chair of the Legislature's budget committee says he is confident a new proposal he worked on with Gov. Scott Walker to boost funding for both low-spending and for rural schools will pass this year.
Rep. John Nygren was appearing with Walker at Coleman High School to tout the proposal Monday.
Nygren says he's been working with Walker on a solution after the governor vetoed a provision of the state budget that would have allowed low-spending districts to raise property taxes without a referendum vote.
The bill Walker backs would allow revenue-limit increase if there hasn't been a failed referendum vote within the past three years.
It would also increase from $300 per student to $400 per student aid that goes to districts that qualify as being sparsely attended, a cost of $6.5 million.
Gov. Scott Walker is getting behind a provision that would allow low-spending school districts to raise their property taxes without a vote, similar to a change he vetoed from the state budget.
Walker told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that he's worked with budget committee co-chair Rep. John Nygren on the latest proposal. Walker says he will ask the Legislature in his State of the State speech later this month to pass it.
The proposal would increase the maximum that qualifying low-spending districts can spend on a combination of local property taxes and state aid per student from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-2019 school year.
Only schools where voters have not rejected raising the revenue limit in the past three years would qualify.
Walker's also calling for increasing sparsity aid for rural schools by $6.5 million a year.