Wisconsin’s Cuts to K-12 Schools Still Deeper than Nearly All Other States

Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 8:36 AM by

Wisconsin has cut about $1 out of every $8 that it spends supporting students in K-12 schools, a cut larger than all but three other states, according to a new report. Wisconsin cut staWI-Cuts-to-Education-Among-Largestte general funding for K-12 schools by 12.7% per student between 2008 and 2016 after adjusting for inflation, with only Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arizona making larger cuts.

Many of the other states with the biggest cuts to education have also cut income taxes during this period. Wisconsin, like Oklahoma, Arizona, and Idaho made very deep cuts in state support for education while also implementing significant income tax cuts.

Wisconsin’s cuts to education are especially deep when compared to what has happened in Minnesota in recent years. In Minnesota, lawmakers have made significant new investments to ensure that children have access to an excellent public education. State general funding per student increased by 6.9% in Minnesota between 2008 and 2016.

The cuts in state support can’t be made up at the local level. That’s because at the same time that they have cut state support for local schools, Wisconsin lawmakers have prohibited local school districts from making up the loss by raising property taxes.

The report includes several other ways of measuring the change in how Wisconsin supports schools, including:

  • The percent change in total per-student state funding from 2008 to 2014. Only seven states have a bigger cut than Wisconsin using this measure;
  • The percent change in per-student state general funding from 2015 to 2016. Only three states have a bigger cut than Wisconsin using this measure; and
  • The percent change in total state and local funding from 2008 to 2014. Only 12 states have a bigger cut than Wisconsin using this measure.

Wisconsin’s cuts to education have had serious consequences for Wisconsin’s schoolchildren, communities, and economy. Reducing state support for education has made it harder for Wisconsin to:

For the full report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, go here: Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting.

Tamarine Cornelius

One Response to “Wisconsin’s Cuts to K-12 Schools Still Deeper than Nearly All Other States”

  1. Jane Doe says:

    Way to go Wisconsin. I saw that the decision makers that went with this route have their wages cut this amount as well. Let’s see how much better they work then. An eye for an eye so you can fully understand what I am talking about. Live by example WALKER!