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State Budget Update

By Dee Pettack | March 10, 2023

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has announced the statewide budget hearings (see post).  The Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s (LFB) summary of Governor Evers’ State Budget proposal will be released shortly.   After which JFC will conduct state agency briefings before holding statewide public hearings. We will follow up with a separate post on coordinating SAA member testimony at the JFC budget hearings.


As the 2023-25 State Budget process begins to pick up speed, I would like to thank all those SAA members that have already begun conversations with their legislators regarding the Governor’s budget recommendations.  For those that have yet to communicate with their legislators, talking points are attached to assist with your conversation. To be successful on this state budget, SAA members in every school district must contact their legislators repeatedly throughout the long budget process.


I suggest that each district leadership team, behind the leadership of the superintendent and business manager, develop your district message and craft your plan for influencing your parents, your staff, your community, your media and your lawmakers — and then coordinate the delivery of that message.  With frozen revenue limits and a looming fiscal cliff this budget will be vitally important for your school district and the children you serve.   It is critically important for you to reach out to your legislators and your community.


Attached are talking points to aid in your communications and help prepare you for conversations with your legislators and community which cover the following:


  1. Consider inviting your legislators to your school(s).  Use the opportunity to show them some of the great educational opportunities afforded to the children in your district.  Show them what learning looks like today in your district.
  2. Discuss your district’s spending of ESSER dollars. Some legislators have openly expressed the opinion that, because of this one-time federal aid, public schools in Wisconsin didn’t need ongoing support in the 2021-23 state budget.  Due to the lack of state funding were you forced to use one time federal funding for ongoing operational expenses?
  3. Express your strong support for the Governor’s proposal to increase the level of special education aid to reimburse aidable costs in a meaningful way. Wisconsin school districts collectively transfer over $1 billion annually from district general funds to cover the funding gap between required special education costs and current state funding.  Explain your district’s “general fund to special education fund” annual transfer and how significant increases in special education aid can help meet the needs of all students in your district.
  4. Express your strong support for a per pupil general revenue increase in each year of the biennium.  Explain the importance of these increases in per pupil revenues in both fiscal and human terms.  Emphasize the impact on educational opportunities for your students.
  5. Tell your district’s story. Talk about your student population.  Your legislators need to hear it.
  6. Encourage your legislators to stand up for the children you serve.
  7. Thank them for listening and for serving the citizens of Wisconsin.


Legislators may be proactively reaching out to you for information, if not, I encourage you to reach out to the members of the Joint Finance Committee and your legislators as soon as possible.  Many SAA members prefer sending letters or emails to their legislators.  Some members have found that their legislators prefer phone conversations.  In the past some members have even produced videos to advocate for the needs of their students. All these methods work great.  All I ask is that you copy your written or video communications to the SAA so we can post them as examples for your colleagues.

I know many of you have already discussed these issues with your legislators, and I thank you.  For your convenience, I have provided links to the Senate Directory, the Assembly Directory and Who Are My Legislators.


Thanks for your attention, and for all your efforts on behalf of the children you serve.

Topics: Legislative Action, SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

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