For Immediate Release:
John Gaier, President
Wisconsin Association for Equity in Funding
Neillsville, WI, JUNE 21, 2021
The Association for Equity in Funding was formed in 1992 to identify legislative solutions to school funding challenges. When those solutions were ignored, we sued all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a landmark case known as Vincent vs. Voight. The ruling established important criteria for school funding, especially for disadvantaged students.
Now, our legislative leaders are ignoring even their own party’s proposals from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on School Funding, co-chaired by GOP Representative Joel Kitchens! As today’s Milwaukee Journal states, “The Legislature has taken no action on those proposals, but, said Kitchens, ‘I would hope that we would still have a chance to get those done this time or in the future.’” AEF members can’t just hope anymore, we need results.
As key legislators craft a budget that does little to address the longstanding challenges in educating high-need students as well as the unfair Revenue Limits that trap unlucky children in poorly funded school districts, they have missed a huge opportunity. AEF understands their priority for tax reductions, but to put so few new state dollars into addressing these school funding challenges, at a time when state coffers overflow, is more than disappointing, it calls for a strong response. AEF members will be weighing our options. It appears ever clearer that the time for another state-level school funding lawsuit is sadly drawing near.
The Wisconsin Association for Equity in Funding (WAEF) is a group of Wisconsin school districts that seeks financial equity in the state system of school financing. The members include urban, suburban and rural schools. The two issues that brought this group together have been the wide differences in the amount school districts have been able to invest in the education of their children and the even wider differences in the property tax burden to pay for that investment.