State Revenues Lagging by $749 Million

By John Forester | July 9, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

State revenues for 2019-20 collected so far are $749 million behind what Wisconsin took in during the previous fiscal year, according to a new Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Still, LFB Director Bob Lang noted it will be late August before the agency has a clear picture on how the economic fallout from COVID-19 has impacted the 2019-20 fiscal year. That’s because while the state pushed back the tax filing deadline to July 15, collections will still apply to the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Today’s memo lays out the latest snapshot of tax collections amid the pandemic.

For June alone, general fund tax collections were down $370 million compared to the same month in 2019. That was largely driven by a reduction in estimated payments for income and franchise taxes, reflecting the delayed filing deadline. The second was a drop in tax withholding payments, reflecting the “severe decline” in employment.

Meanwhile, sales tax collections last month were down $9 million compared to June 2019. LFB noted the drop of 1.7 percent was an improvement of the declines of 10.1 percent in May and 9.9 percent in April. The June collections largely reflect activity in May and reflect an uptick in activity after the state Supreme Court’s ruling in the middle of the month lifted the extended stay-at-home order. LFB also noted federal stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment benefits also likely helped allow consumers to make purchases they otherwise would’ve put off.

Read the memo here.

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part V – Going Forward

By John Forester | July 8, 2020

The Wheeler Report has posted its final installment of its series on K-12 Education and COVID-19.  Part V of the series takes a look forward as school districts plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year.  The SAA has served as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.  Hats off to The Wheeler Report for an outstanding effort to educate policy makers and the general public on this important issue.

Check out Part V of the series here.

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part IV – School Services

By John Forester | July 2, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing its series on Education and COVID-19.  Part IV of the series is on School Services.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part IV of the series here.

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SAA Members Testify at Informational Hearing on School Reopening

By John Forester | June 24, 2020

At an informational hearing today before the Assembly Committee on Education, SAA members delivered powerful testimony on how they delivered services to students and families during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the challenges facing Wisconsin school leaders as they plan for reopening schools in the Fall, and the help that our Legislature can provide us to ensure a more effective reopening.  The following school superintendents testified before the Committee today:  Jill Underly (Pecatonica), Ben Niehaus (Florence), Lisa Olson (Whitnall), Lisa Elliott (Greenfield), Kristine Gilmore (D.C. Everest), Josh Robinson (Frederic), Michelle Langenfeld (Green Bay).  South Milwaukee Business Manager Blaise Paul joined South Milwaukee Superintendent Jeff Weiss.

Hats off to these school leaders, and many thanks to them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to represent the viewpoint of Wisconsin school leaders.

Jill Underly Testimony

Ben Niehaus Testimony

Lisa Olson Testimony

Lisa Elliott Testimony

Kristine Gilmore Testimony

Josh Robinson Testimony

Michelle Langenfeld Testimony

Jeff Weiss and Blaise Paul Testimony

 

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part III – Special Education

By John Forester | June 24, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing its series on Education and COVID-19.  Part III of the series is on Special Education issues.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part III of the series here.

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Committee to Hold Hearing on Fall Reopening

By John Forester | June 23, 2020

The Assembly Committee on Education will hold an informational hearing on Wisconsin K-12 School Reopening on Wednesday (tomorrow), June 24, 2020 in Room 412 East, State Capitol.  The Committee will hear testimony from invited speakers only. Eight superintendents and one school business manager have been invited to testify.

The SAA will post SAA member testimony on the SAA Blog tomorrow.  Members can access the hearing through WisconsinEye.

https://wiseye.org/

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Evers Announces Additional $46 Million to K-12

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Evers today announced $83.6 million in federal funds that will go to K-12 schools and higher ed institutions.

Of that, $46 million going to K-12 is from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, which was created in the U.S. Department of Education and received $3 billion from the federal CARES Act to dole out to states for schools. The guv’s office said the money will prioritize districts and students that have the highest remote learning needs and have most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $37 million for higher ed is from the CARES Act money the state received and will be used for unbudgeted expenses in response to the pandemic.

The UW System said it will receive $19 million of that money.

The guv’s office said the money is in addition to the more than $354 million K-12 schools and higher ed institutions have already received directly under the CARES Act.

“I’ve always said what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, so I am hopeful this funding can help alleviate expenses already incurred and further creative efforts to transition between in-person learning and distance learning seamlessly as we prepare for the upcoming fall semester and continue to fight COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said.

See the release here.

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CESA 6 Tells The Story In Video

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

Superintendents in CESA 6 worked together as a region to create this video representation of the work done during the public health emergency.

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part II – TECHNOLOGY

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing it’s series on public education and COVID-19.  Part II of the series is on Technology issues.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part II of the series here.

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The Wheeler Report Begins New Series on Public Schools During COVID-19

By John Forester | June 11, 2020

The Wheeler Report is starting a new series looking at the issues impacting K-12 education in Wisconsin from where the situation started, to issues schools are addressing, to what lies ahead in the fall.  The SAA will serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part One of the series here.

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