Legislative Advocacy Priorities
Sustaining fiscal strength is necessary for the vitality of our schools and community. We ask Wisconsin state lawmakers to consider funding and policy decisions that will support MTSD schools.
We ask our state lawmakers to:
1. Increase the current funding for public school students in the form of per-pupil, categorical aid in the amount of $908 per pupil for 2023-24 and in the amount of $658 per pupil for 2024-25. Providing categorical aid (spendable dollars) vs. state aid (tax relief) ensures that every district in the state receives the same increase based on the number of students enrolled in their schools.
With increased categorical aid schools can:
- Provide appropriate employee compensation. Our educators are our most valuable asset in achieving our mission and vision. We project the need for an additional $5.4 million over the next two years to fully fund our strategic compensation system and increase hourly wages for all school district staff. Education staffing shortages are a reality, as public school districts struggle to keep up with the cost of living increases and remain competitive with private sector employment offerings. This school year, MTSD realized its highest rate of employee turnover in years, an unfortunate loss that directly impacts our students' academic, social and emotional growth.
- Maintain comprehensive school programming, including support for students’ mental health. Education must address every facet of a child’s being, and the need for public schools to support students’ health and well-being is more important now than ever before. High inflation and increased costs for contracted services will impact our students’ learning environments, leading to larger class sizes and fewer curricular and cocurricular offerings, all while our students’ needs for support continue to grow.
2023-24 and 2024-25 Inflation Rates Included Are Projections
2. Reimburse school districts for 100% of special education costs to support all students.
- In MTSD, each student is valued, will learn, and will experience success. In comparison to states across the nation, funding to support special education services in Wisconsin is very low. Schools are currently reimbursed for only 27.5% of special education costs, creating a sizable deficit. This impacts all students, as schools must use general education funds to fill the gap. In MTSD, this results in annual spending of $4.8 million dollars from the general education fund to support the required services provided to students receiving special education programming.
2023-24 and 2024-25 Depicts No Change to State Support
What can you do to support your public schools?
Contact your local legislator(s) and share with them MTSD’s Legislative Advocacy Priorities. The 2023-25 budget development process will begin in the coming weeks at the state level and our lawmakers are currently considering how to spend a budget surplus of over $4 billion. Your advocacy on behalf of our public school students, families, and staff members is important for our future!
We support our public school educators. We support our students' mental health. And we support the needs of ALL students.
- What is categorical aid and why is this a priority over providing relief to our taxpayers?
- What are the projected cost of living increases for the upcoming 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years?
- What is the Strategic Compensation System in the MTSD? Why do we need it?
- How did the District arrive at $5.4 million needed for employee compensation for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years?
- How does the District currently plan on funding teacher and staff compensation for the upcoming budget cycle without any increase to public school funding?
- Historically, what is the employee retention rate in the MTSD for the last five years?
- Should business owners care about advocating for public school funding?
- What does special education funding pay for?
- How many students in the MTSD receive special education services?
- Why is this budget cycle so important for public education?
- What will happen if public schools do not receive increased state funding?
- Who are my local legislators and how can I contact them?