No specific revenue source has been agreed upon to increase K-12 funding, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have proposed a variety of options. Vos, Fitzgerald, and Nygren suggested using money the governor had set aside for the school levy credit to instead fully fund K-12 education. Fitzgerald said Republicans would be interested in plans that would increase revenue and lower bonding. The four Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have suggested other methods of funding K-12 education, such as delaying the phase in of manufacturing and agriculture credits, forgoing property tax cuts, and accepting federal Medicaid expansion money. Republican members of the JFC warn that these ideas would meet resistance in the GOP caucus.
Although the funding source remains unclear, it is clear that Wisconsin lawmakers are making increased funding for K-12 education a priority in the 2015-2017 state budget. The WAWH budget blog will continue to provide more details on the K-12 budget as the JFC votes on these provisions. For more information on Governor Walker’s proposed public education budget and its impact on Wisconsin women and girls, visit our issue page on K-12 education here.