Support for Additional K-12 Education Funding

Support for Additional K-12 Education Funding
Posted on 02/11/2020
Dear Distinguished State Legislators,

With a state budget surplus projected for this biennium, Governor Tony Evers has shared a plan that calls for a $251 million boost to funding for special education, school-based mental health services, and property tax relief through more equalized state aid for school districts.  This additional financial support is desperately needed in our schools and community, and this investment would have a large return in the School District of the Menomonie Area.  Please support the Governor's plan.

It has been estimated that the plan proposed by Governor Evers would provide $272,691 more in special education funding for Menomonie. This is especially important as the number of services and supports for students with special needs in our school district continues to drastically outpace funding. During the 2018-2019 school year, the district was forced to transfer over $3.7 million from the general fund to bridge the gap in special education funding- Fund 27.
It is not likely that the School District of the Menomonie Area would qualify for any new sparsity aid, but we really could use the additional funding the Governor proposed for school-based mental health services.  Due to an alarming number of student mental health concerns in the School District of the Menomonie Area, we have provided a tremendous amount of staff professional development and added a second school social worker for our seven schools.  This year's staffing plan included the addition of multiple school counselors, and we have even been collaborating with UW Stout to provide counseling for a number of our children through Stout's mental health counseling certification program.

We have worked hard in Menomonie to reduce the tax burden in our school district by making wise decisions, refinancing long term debt, and maximizing state aid for our schools, but property tax relief through the school funding formula would be greatly appreciated by the taxpayers in our school district. With CVTC going to referendum this spring, and this being the first year that private school vouchers impacted our school district budget, now is a great time to provide property tax relief in Menomonie through more equalized aid for our schools.

Thank you for all that you do for the State of Wisconsin; in particular, Menomonie, and the other neighboring areas you represent.  Please put partisan politics aside and do what you can to support the schools serving so many children, families, and community members in our great state.

With much gratitude and respect,

Joe Zydowsky