More than a dozen states have passed changes in education funding in the past year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“We’ve seen a lot of organizations start to say that the weighted student funding model is the way to go. The other reason we’re really motivated by this is that we really like the idea of lifelong learning reform and to get there the money has to follow the students, ”Sobic said. “On both sides of the aisle, there is always a reaction to parents struggling with the pandemic and what it has done to education.”
The Republican focus on education issues comes as the party seeks to rebuild itself after statewide losses in 2018 and 2020. The period coinciding with Donald Trump’s presidency has seen women in the suburbs flee the party, as evidenced by Democratic legislative gains in suburban Milwaukee.
Education was the most controversial issue in the recently passed 2021-2023 state budget, with Republicans increasing funding for public schools to less than a tenth of what Evers had called for. Evers eventually signed a Republican budget that pumped hundreds of millions of new dollars into the state’s funding formula, but due to state-imposed revenue limits, this will effectively reduce property taxes rather than reducing property taxes. add money to district budgets.
The budget also left over $ 1.6 billion in taxpayer money uncommitted, which Republicans have said they intend to use in the next biennial budget for a much larger increase in education funding. .