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With the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee holding off meetings last week and committing to none in the future, the division between Assembly and Senate Republicans around, among other topics, education is front-and-center. The Assembly is still pushing its own education budget that differs significantly from the governor’s, while leading senators say lawmakers should work off the governor’s proposal and the promise of per-pupil categorical aids of $200 and $204 over two years – or perhaps the Senate Republicans will make their own.
At the crux of the budget debate is the governor’s demand that property tax bills sent to homeowners in 2018 will be lower than those they received in 2014 or another year. Due to a lower lottery credit and rising costs for private school tuition vouchers, the budget Walker sent lawmakers no longer meets his own pledge of coming in below the $2,831 bill for a median-valued home in December 2014. And the governor is campaigning heavily in advance of a formal re-election bid that he is helping schools.
The Assembly plan would cut about $90 million from the governor’s school plan, and result in a slightly larger property tax bill, in part, because it would allow low-spending school districts to raise per-pupil spending from $9,100 to $9,800 through a property tax increase.
By the Issue
School Employee Tuberculosis Screening. AB-382, requiring screening of school district employees for tuberculosis, was referred to the Assembly Education Committee.
Vouchers. A pair of bills in the Senate (SB-293) and Assembly (AB-383) are moving quickly through the Legislature, with the Senate bill getting a public hearing just two days after it was introduced and the Assembly companion bill up this week.
Tuesday, June 13
- The Joint Finance Committee has scheduled a meeting to decide on the self-insurance contracts from the Walker administration, which the JFC co-chairs said the committee will reject.
- Assembly Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight executive session on AB 300, relating to providing information about mandatory pupil examinations; AB 304, relating to allowing a pupil’s parent or guardian to opt out of certain statewide examinations.
- Assembly Committee on Education public hearing on AB 383, relating to parental choice programs and the Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Wednesday, June 14
- Assembly and Senate floor sessions.
- Assembly Committee on Education executive session on AB 383, relating to parental choice programs and the Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Thursday, June 15
- Assembly Committee on Education public hearing. Members are to take testimony on several bills relating to school referendums. Also on the agenda is AB 77, relating to state aid payments to school districts; and AB 329, relating to prohibiting aiding and abetting sexual abuse.
Don’t see something in the wrap-up? Looking for more information? Contact Christina Brey.