GET INFORMED & TAKE ACTION:
1. Check out our VOUCHER TRANSPARENCY TOOLKIT.
2. Write a letter to the editor. Examples: Three LTEs about the voucher program and its effect on local public schools from Dr. Mike Lindsay, UW-Eau Claire Professor Emeritus.
3. Form a local team of people who care about this issue. Want to see the impact of private voucher spending on your local school district? Contact your regional Team Public organizer.
4. Advocate for voucher transparency. See examples of local property tax inserts in municipalities & school districts in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Public Schools, City of Racine, School District of South Milwaukee.
5. Follow important bills & contact your lawmakers.
6. Participate in statewide actions: join our mailing list, attend our events & meetings, & stay tuned for more action opportunities.
LATEST VOUCHER NEWS:
Independent Charters in Wisconsin:
Independent charters are publicly-funded charter schools that operate outside of school districts. There are a number of independent charter authorizers in Wisconsin. These schools are not held to the same accountability standards as traditional public schools as they operate without the oversight of locally-elected school boards, outside the parameters of the local community, and without equal requirements for administrators or teachers.
These schools are distinct from public instrumentality charter schools, which operate within a school district and are subject to oversight, authorization, and accountability at the hands of publicly- and locally-elected school boards.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Independent Charter Resources:
- “What is an Independent Charter School?” (comprehensive list of authorizers and schools)
- 2022-23 Funding Comparison for “WI Choice Programs”
- Track the financial impact of NEW independent charter schools in your district here.
Please see below for video recording and resources from Dr. Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr.’s Accountability in Action Workshop on Charter Schools.
Funding Fairness & Revenue Limits in Wisconsin:
Click here to see revenue limits in your school district (source: Wisconsin DPI).
Wisconsin kids deserve a fair playing field, but they don’t have one under our current funding system. In Wisconsin, school districts are restricted by unequal spending caps that they cannot exceed, creating a system of haves and have-nots across the state. Revenue limits determined by the state budget restrict the amount of money public school districts can receive from state aid and local property taxes.
Districts were arbitrarily locked into different starting points in 1993, creating an unfair system that fails to consider students’ real needs and limits all districts’ ability to meet those needs.
Wisconsin’s preK-12 funding system has underfunded schools relative to inflation for 14 years. Because inflation goes up every year, each year of underfunding compounds the underfunding problem.
In essence, every year off of the pace puts schools that much further behind. The effect is cumulative.
Record numbers of school districts are resorting to operating referenda to increase their spending authority, but that does not fix the system that created these inequities.
Learn more about revenue limits and the unequal school funding system facing our schools by checking out some of our school funding presentations. See the archive of those events here.