Wisconsin

National Report Card: Is School Funding Fair?

Posted on: Friday June 22nd, 2012

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage - and provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems.

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?

Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card (Second Edition)

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-06-22
Author: 
Education Law Center
Type: 
Report
Category: 
Equitable instructional materials and policies

The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up? 

In WI, One Plus One Does Not Equal Two

Posted on: Thursday June 21st, 2012

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker is asking WI residents to suspend all logic and believe that $1.6 billion in revenue cuts to public education is better and certainly no worse for the state's children, schools and communities. Let's not buy into his bad math. 

This blog originally appeared on the Institute for Wisconsin's Future website


When I hear Governor Scott Walker’s claims of savings for school districts thanks to Wisconsin Act 10, two adages come to mind: 1) If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And 2) if one plus one equals anything but two, then chances are it’s wrong.

The Crisis Facing Wisconsin Students

Posted on: Tuesday June 12th, 2012

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Wisconsin's school funding system is "too complicated, too riddled with holes and too wrapped up in politics to do its job." Two important steps will go a long way towards reforming that broken funding system and getting students the resources they need to succeed. 

It’s really quite simple: If Wisconsin’s public schools have the resources to give all children the opportunities they need to learn, the majority of students will succeed in school. Most will get good, family-supporting jobs, the economy will hum and the impact on society will be positive.

Fixing Our Finance System

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2012-04-10
Author: 
Thomas Beebe
Organization: 
Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
Presentation
Category: 
Equitable instructional materials and policies

Fixing Wisconsin's school finance system is an issues that will come up again and again during the upcoming elections. This poliy memo provides background about that system, the impact on our schools of the most recently passed budget, and messaging points. 


Wisconsin's Education Dilemma: 
Finding, supporting and keeping good teachers in Milwaukee and rural school districts

Publication Date: 
Sun, 2009-11-01
Author: 
Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
Report
Category: 
Highly Effective Teachers

Finding and keeping good teachers is vital to all schools. In Milwaukee, where the racial achievement gap is so wide, it is especially critical as well as in rural areas where lower income students have few environmental resources outside of schools to bolster learning.  This report investigates the factors involved in retaining urban and rural teachers as well as maximizing their effectiveness in the classroom.
Interviews with teachers and school officials indicate that modest changes in educational systems could improve teacher retention and performance. Most significant reforms included systematic mentoring for new teachers and more realistic workloads. While these would require more school funding, the amount is not extravagant and the outcome could make the difference between success and failure in many schools.

Finding and keeping good teachers is vital to all schools. In Milwaukee, where the racial achievement gap is so wide, it is especially critical as well as in rural areas where lower income students have few environmental resources outside of schools to bolster learning.  This report investigates the factors involved in retaining urban and rural teachers as well as maximizing their effectiveness in the classroom.

Wisconsin Atlas of School Finance: Geographic, Demographic, and Fiscal Factors Affecting School Districts Across the State

Publication Date: 
Sun, 2004-02-01
Author: 
Jack Norman
Organization: 
Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
Report
Category: 
Equitable instructional materials and policies

This report presents in-depth data on urban, suburban, and rural districts and how they compare in the population of students they serve, the economic factors they confront, and the tax and spending responsibilities they face in Wisconsin's current school-finance system. It also includes a special section on districts in the northern lake region of the state. (44 pp.)

This report presents in-depth data on urban, suburban, and rural districts and how they compare in the population of students they serve, the economic factors they confront, and the tax and spending responsibilities they face in Wisconsin's current school-finance system. It also includes a special section on districts in the northern lake region of the state. (44 pp.)

Funding Our Future: An Adequacy Model for Wisconsin School Finance

Publication Date: 
Sat, 2002-06-01
Author: 
Jack Norman
Organization: 
Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Type: 
Report
Category: 
Equitable instructional materials and policies

This report describes a new school finance system—one designed to link the needs of students to the state's academic standards to ensure that all children, regardless of their special needs or the location of their schools, have the opportunity to succeed. It serves as the basis to Funding Our Future: The Wisconsin Adequacy Plan (above). The full report includes a cost-out of the Adequacy model for each of Wisconsin's 426 school districts. (111 pp.)

This report describes a new school finance system—one designed to link the needs of students to the state's academic standards to ensure that all children, regardless of their special needs or the location of their schools, have the opportunity to succeed. It serves as the basis to Funding Our Future: The Wisconsin Adequacy Plan (above). The full report includes a cost-out of the Adequacy model for each of Wisconsin's 426 school districts. (111 pp.)

Governor's Power Could Devastate Students

Posted on: Tuesday May 8th, 2012

By Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is putting public schools between a rock and hard place: By cutting state education funding and influencing the interpretation of laws like the now-infamous anti-union Act 10, he is forcing districts to pay experienced teachers less than they deserve, making it less likely that districts can retain the high-quality teachers their students need to succeed. 

Have you ever heard about something so absurd that you can’t quite believe that it even happened? Bernie Madoff comes to mind for me—I still can’t quite figure out how he pulled off such a scam.

I get the same feeling when I think about what has been happening in Wisconsin's education debate. Only this time, it’s our children who are being swindled.

Exclusionary Zoning Denies Poor Access to Quality Schools

Posted on: Friday April 20th, 2012

New Study: It costs almost $11,000 more per year to live near high-quality schools than low-quality schools. This "housing cost gap," which is the result of exclusionary zoning policies, means that low-income students are less likely to attend good schools, thereby denying them access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed and escape poverty. 

It's a big week for studies focused the relationship between location and educational opportunity: First, the Schott Foundation's report on education redlining in New York City public schools that revealed city policies and practices systematically deny educational opportunities to the districts and schools with high percentages of poor and students of color.

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