Training activist teams react to proposed state training finances
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) – Education activist groups urge state officials to increase public education funding in proposed 2021-23 state budget despite federal government pumping billions in coronavirus aid aid into Wisconsin counties.
Green Bay Advocates 4 Public Education is one of the groups encouraging people to contact government officials on Monday to oppose the budget as part of a “state-wide education day.”
The joint finance committee of the state legislature finalized the proposal last week. The budget is $ 128 million for K-12 schools over the next two years – significantly less than Governor Evers’ proposed $ 1.6 billion.
Funding for special education is one of the main concerns of the activist group. The budget provides a 30% reimbursement for special education. John Jahnke, a member of the Governors Council on Autism and the State Superintendent’s Parents Advisory Council, says that amount is not enough.
“Especially in this state, but in society as a whole, we under-finance special education,” said Jahnke. “The long-term effect of underfunding special education is that a child with a disability becomes an adult with a disability who is under-prepared.”
He says lawmakers should invest more in special education.
“It’s like in any business. Those who invest in the front end save in the back end, ”says Jahnke. “If we invest in children at a young age and give them the tools they need to be successful, they will become more independent and active in business.”
Rep. Mark Born, co-chair of the finance committee, said in a statement Monday the committee had taken into account the fact that schools will receive federal pandemic aid in drawing up the proposal.
Heidi Fagre, a member of Green Bay Advocates 4 Public Education, says federal aid is more of a temporary fix than a substitute for government funding.
“Our lawmakers believe that our school funding can be fully covered by COVID relief funds,” said Fagre. “The COVID funds should be used to address COVID issues and our education system should be fully funded based on student needs.”
The office of Rep. Born published this opinion on the proposed budget:
“As we’ve said time and again, when we created the K-12 budget, we took into account the massive $ 2.4 billion in federal funding that goes to our school districts. That equates to an average of $ 2,898 per student, increasing funding to our mental health and special education schools by nearly $ 100 million. As part of our plan, schools that have been doing mostly personal for the past year are guaranteed a minimum of $ 781 per student, more than per student. Increase in the last budget that Governor Evers signed. “
The Senate and Assembly are expected to vote on the budget in the last week of June. After it has been passed by the legislature, it is headed by Governor Evers, who has broad veto power.