October 11, 2011
By Tom Beebe
Wisconsin has found its way back to the top of a list about public education,
and it's not a good thing for kids, schools, or their communities.
According to a study by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
(CBPP), the Badger State cut the most per-student public school aid in the
country, comparing the 2011 fiscal year to the 2012 fiscal year, at $635 less.
See the study here.
Wisconsin does poorly on all measures:
- Wisconsin spent 11.9 percent less per student in the 2011 fiscal year than
in the pre-recession 2008 fiscal year. That ranks eighth worst. South Carolina,
Arizona, and California were the three worst.
- Per-student spending for 2012 is $776 less than in pre-recession 2008,
ranking us fourth worst.
- Wisconsin cut per-student spending by 10 percent -- third worst -- from
fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2012. Only Illinois and Texas are worse.
This isn't OK for kids because it translates into:
When we should be talking about the educational opportunities needed to succeed,
we are instead locked into destructive and ineffective arguments about short-term
budget fixes and divisive political battles that are hurting our kids, their
schools, and their communities.
Tom Beebe is with the Wisconsin
Alliance for Excellent Schools, a diverse, statewide coalition working
for comprehensive school-funding reform.