skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

WI School Funding Agreement Doesn't Ease Concerns of Rural Districts

play audio
Play

Tuesday, June 20, 2023   

Wisconsin education leaders are reacting to a budget deal that provides some extra funding to public schools but also increases support for private school vouchers. Rural districts are left wondering whether they can survive current obstacles. The budget agreement hammered out by Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governor Tony Evers boosts overall public education spending by $1 billion , and there is nearly $300 million set aside for the state's school choice plan, which provides money to low-income students to attend private schools.

Jeff Eide, executive director of Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance said public schools were not given enough support to keep up with challenges.

"The challenges we're really facing is really bottom-line resources and funding for the rural schools," he explained.

He added the situation was made worse by a GOP led decision in the last budget to freeze education spending. A recent survey from the alliance found more than 70% of rural schools were short at least one educator. Teacher unions also are voicing concerns, saying more of the surplus should go to public schools. But the Wisconsin Coalition for Education Freedom said the move makes the state a leader in empowering parents.

Eide said public schools, especially in rural areas, remain hamstrung in boosting their finances because of a 30 year old state law that imposes revenue limits for districts. That means they have to go to voters more often by way of a local referendum.

"You're always asking for the taxpayers to either keep the taxes where they're at when they could be lower, but you need that for the resources for your kids. So, it's difficult to go back and sometimes it divides the community a little bit," Eide continued.

The budget plan does boost the revenue ceiling, but those advocating for public schools say it falls well short of keeping pace with inflation, and spending increases for special education are minimal, Eide said. The funding agreement came together in a budget cycle where policymakers were figuring out how to make use of a nearly $7 billion surplus.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

play sound

Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021