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Mequon-Thiensville School Board urges legislature to increase funding

Board sends letter to state legislature, asking to increase K-12 funding

June 5, 2013

Mequon — The Mequon-Thiensville School Board is urging the state legislature to approve a per-pupil increase for the 2014-15 school year that aligns with the consumer price index.

The board met with Rep. Dan Knodl and Sen. Alberta Darling on May 18 to discuss developing a sustainable kindergarten-through-12th-grade funding formula and providing more local control to school boards in governing their own districts, according to a news release from the School District. Per-pupil increases on the revenue limit have historically been tied to CPI, but that is no longer the case.

The board expressed their concerns in a letter they are sending to legislators as they hash out final details of the 2013-15 biennium budget. The letter addresses a few key points, including local control over school schedules, as well as the need for an increase to per-pupil funding.

The district has seen budget reductions over the last 10 years. The board asked legislators for an increase of at least $150 in per-pupil funding. The letter also notes that the district does not benefit from additional revenue unless the per pupil increase is $275 or more.

In the letter, the School Board asks that the Joint Finance Committee recommend a change in the legislation that dictates when the school year will begin. School, legally, cannot start until Sept. 1.

"School boards, and the communities they serve, have been patient in waiting for a change in this law, which places children at a disadvantage for summer enrichment programs. The ability to set a school calendar must be shifted back to local school boards, who best know and represent their individual community's needs."

A full version of the letter is available at mtsd.k12.wi.us.

— Danielle Switalski

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