Legislative Action Helps Fulfill Critical Mission for closing the funding gap between choice schools and public schools in Wisconsin
The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) released the following statement after the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly voted to advance Senate Bill 330, a bold reform that empowers families and students to find and receive a quality education—no matter where they live. The bill now heads to Governor Evers.
The Quote: Kyle Koenen, Policy Director, stated “The Wisconsin Legislature took bold, decisive action to more equitably fund a quality education for every single child. Instead of an insufficient status quo, money will more closely follow the student, competition and innovation will drive results, and families will be empowered to make the best decision for their child. Once again, Wisconsin will be a leader in supporting true educational freedom for parents and students.”
Additional Background: Under Wisconsin’s current funding model, a huge gap exists between the funding for choice, charter and public schools. According to the most recent data available from DPI, public schools receive, on average, $14,215 in state and local revenue. But schools in the choice program received only $8,399 in K-8 and $9,045 at the high school level, or approximately 60% of what traditional public schools receive. Independent charter schools have also been severely shortchanged, receiving $9,264 per student. Under the bill passed today, private schools in the choice program will receive $9,499 in grades K-8 and $11,993 in high school. Independent charters will see an increase to $10,991.
With the increases in funding that have been achieved today, Wisconsin now has the 7th closest gap between funding for public schools and schools in its school choice programs at approximately 76%. Closing the funding gap has long been a key principle of WILL’s education policy agenda. Under the new funding levels, that gap is substantially lessened while still allowing school choice to represent a savings to Wisconsin taxpayers.
Check out WILL’s response to Governor Evers signing the bill into law here.