Funding should be transparent, simpler, and fairer
February 2, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI – Today WILL policy staff submitted testimony to the Wisconsin Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, which held a public hearing in Milwaukee. Last December, the Wisconsin legislature created the Commission to make recommendations on how to improve the way Wisconsin funds its K-12 schools.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty recommends the Commission follow three broad-based principles:
- People should know how public schools spend their money.
- Public dollars should follow the student.
- Students at public charters and private schools in the voucher programs should have equal access to educational resources.
As explained by Will Flanders, WILL’s Research Director, who will testify today:
“We applaud the state legislature for wanting to look at how to improve Wisconsin’s funding system. The existing system is so complicated that it is understood by very few people in the state. A part of the problem is a lack of transparency which makes it difficult for the public to know where its money is being spent.
In making it more simple and transparent, the Commission can make the system more fair. The existing funding system values a child differently based upon where she lives, what school district she attends, and what type of school she enrolls in.
That’s not only inherently unfair, but it is also poor public policy.”
WILL looks forward to providing additional research and recommendations later in the year. The testimony can be found here.