Wisconsin

Tiny Budget Increase Doesn't Replace Lost Opportunities

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
One year of slight increases in state education aid isn't enough to make up for years of budget cuts and a property tax cap that limits the power of communities to help their local schools. Wisconsin needs to prioritize its children and its public schools, or else everyone will end up paying for it in the long run.

It’s an indisputable fact: Public education is the great leveler in our economy and our society. If we put in the resources up front we will get the results we all want: Successful young adults, an economy that works, and a civil society we can be proud of.

At the very time Wisconsin’s students need more quality education, however, state government continues to bleed school districts of the resources they need.

Watch Out Wisconsin: One Woman's Journey from Parent to Activist

Jasmine Alinder, Board President of Parents for Public Schools - Milwaukee

Jamine Alinder's "call to action" came when budget cuts threatened the existence of her local school. Now a parent organizer and education activist in Milwaukee, she is a passionate defender of public education. Here, she offers a powerful, personal perspective on the situation in her state and an inspiring look at the work she has done in her local community. 

This guest blog post is from Jasmine Alinder, a parent organizer in WI who has done invaluable work defending public education in her state. Here, she offers a powerful, personal perspective on the situation in Milwaukee and an inspiring look at the work she has done in her local community. 

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National Report Card: Is School Funding Fair?

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage - and provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems.

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?

Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card (Second Edition)

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-06-22
Author: 
Education Law Center
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up? 

In WI, One Plus One Does Not Equal Two

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker is asking WI residents to suspend all logic and believe that $1.6 billion in revenue cuts to public education is better and certainly no worse for the state's children, schools and communities. Let's not buy into his bad math. 

This blog originally appeared on the Institute for Wisconsin's Future website


When I hear Governor Scott Walker’s claims of savings for school districts thanks to Wisconsin Act 10, two adages come to mind: 1) If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And 2) if one plus one equals anything but two, then chances are it’s wrong.

State: 

The Crisis Facing Wisconsin Students

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Wisconsin's school funding system is "too complicated, too riddled with holes and too wrapped up in politics to do its job." Two important steps will go a long way towards reforming that broken funding system and getting students the resources they need to succeed. 

It’s really quite simple: If Wisconsin’s public schools have the resources to give all children the opportunities they need to learn, the majority of students will succeed in school. Most will get good, family-supporting jobs, the economy will hum and the impact on society will be positive.

Fixing Our Finance System

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2012-04-10
Author: 
Thomas Beebe, Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
policy
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

Fixing Wisconsin's school finance system is an issues that will come up again and again during the upcoming elections. This poliy memo provides background about that system, the impact on our schools of the most recently passed budget, and messaging points. 


State: 

Wisconsin's Education Dilemma: 
Finding, supporting and keeping good teachers in Milwaukee and rural school districts

Publication Date: 
Sun, 2009-11-01
Author: 
Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
reports
Category: 
highly-effective-teachers
Finding and keeping good teachers is vital to all schools. In Milwaukee, where the racial achievement gap is so wide, it is especially critical as well as in rural areas where lower income students have few environmental resources outside of schools to bolster learning.  This report investigates the factors involved in retaining urban and rural teachers as well as maximizing their effectiveness in the classroom. Interviews with teachers and school officials indicate that modest changes in educational systems could improve teacher retention and performance. Most significant reforms included systematic mentoring for new teachers and more realistic workloads. While these would require more school funding, the amount is not extravagant and the outcome could make the difference between success and failure in many schools.
Finding and keeping good teachers is vital to all schools. In Milwaukee, where the racial achievement gap is so wide, it is especially critical as well as in rural areas where lower income students have few environmental resources outside of schools to bolster learning.  This report investigates the factors involved in retaining urban and rural teachers as well as maximizing their effectiveness in the classroom.
State: 

Wisconsin Atlas of School Finance: Geographic, Demographic, and Fiscal Factors Affecting School Districts Across the State

Publication Date: 
Sun, 2004-02-01
Author: 
Jack Norman
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

This report presents in-depth data on urban, suburban, and rural districts and how they compare in the population of students they serve, the economic factors they confront, and the tax and spending responsibilities they face in Wisconsin's current school-finance system. It also includes a special section on districts in the northern lake region of the state. (44 pp.)

This report presents in-depth data on urban, suburban, and rural districts and how they compare in the population of students they serve, the economic factors they confront, and the tax and spending responsibilities they face in Wisconsin's current school-finance system. It also includes a special section on districts in the northern lake region of the state. (44 pp.)

State: 

Funding Our Future: An Adequacy Model for Wisconsin School Finance

Publication Date: 
Sat, 2002-06-01
Author: 
Jack Norman
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

This report describes a new school finance system—one designed to link the needs of students to the state's academic standards to ensure that all children, regardless of their special needs or the location of their schools, have the opportunity to succeed. It serves as the basis to Funding Our Future: The Wisconsin Adequacy Plan (above). The full report includes a cost-out of the Adequacy model for each of Wisconsin's 426 school districts. (111 pp.)

This report describes a new school finance system—one designed to link the needs of students to the state's academic standards to ensure that all children, regardless of their special needs or the location of their schools, have the opportunity to succeed. It serves as the basis to Funding Our Future: The Wisconsin Adequacy Plan (above). The full report includes a cost-out of the Adequacy model for each of Wisconsin's 426 school districts. (111 pp.)

State: 

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