Governor Scott Walker's budget calls for over $475 million in new state funding for education.
In last night's budget address, the Governor said the state shouldn't be pouring more money into schools that are failing. Walker is proposing spending $24 million to reward public schools that are high performing, and he's offering alternatives to public schools that are not.
"For communities where some schools fail to meet expectations, we include an expansion of the parental choice program in this budget."
Walker wants to expand Wisconsin's voucher program into nine new communities where there are failing schools.
"Since wealthy families have a choice — because they can pay to send their children to a private school — we give low income and middle class families an opportunity to also choose a viable alternative for their sons and daughters."
He's also calling for $129 million increase in state aid for public schools. However, state Superintendent Tony Evers says that figure is misleading.
"The increase in funding is one percent. But the bottom line is the revenue limits are kept stable. So that means that schools can spend no more money than they did last year."
Evers says that Walker's budget proposal would be a major strain for public schools. Meanwhile, the UW System would receive an additional $181 million. Interim UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward says it's the best budget they've seen in quite a while.