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We need ‘Fair Funding for Our Future’

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Tony Evers
July 8, 2010

Across Wisconsin, our broken system of funding our kids’ schools forces locally elected school boards to cut budgets, close schools and lay off staff. This results in fewer educational opportunities for our students at a time when an educated workforce is vital to our economic recovery and long-term prosperity.


Yet taxpayers feel burdened and residents increasingly question whether they are getting adequate results for their substantial school tax dollars.


We need a public discussion about the way we fund our schools. That is why I have introduced “Fair Funding for Our Future.” This school funding framework is founded on four principles: a funding system that is fair, sustainable, transparent and accountable for results. This proposed framework addresses pressing school finance issues without raising statewide net property taxes or making a massive increase in state spending.


“Fair Funding for Our Future” incorporates ideas from Republicans, Democrats, education experts and finance specialist to:


--Provide a minimum amount of state aid for every student, no matter where they live.


--Ensure state education dollars are spent educating children.


--Account for student poverty, not just property values.


--Expand supports for rural schools.


--Provide predictable growth in state support for schools.


--Invest in innovation and programs that show results.


Anywhere you look across the state, our current school funding system is broken. It is not serving our students well, and it puts public support for public education in jeopardy.


We need a bipartisan commitment to repair our school funding system so it is fair and sustainable. We need a school funding system that provides predictable investments in our children’s education, even in the most difficult of financial times, and in ways that are understandable to everyone.


Through “Fair Funding for Our Future” we will build a brighter future for our children so they graduate ready for the workplace or further education.


Website: More information about the “Fair Funding for Our Future” framework is available at dpi.wi.gov/sprntdnt/fairfunding.html.
Tony Evers is the elected state superintendent of public instruction. Contact him at 125 S. Webster St., P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841; phone (608) 266-3559.

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