State News

Vos announces new task force to address education funding

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced a new commission to begin evaluation of existing education funding system.

Image By: Katie Scheidt

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, announced the creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Wednesday, part of a new initiative intended to re-evaluate how education dollars are spent by the state.

The legislative task force is aimed at examining how taxes are being spent on education and assessing what changes might need to be made to the existing system.

The commission will be chaired by state Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, and state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon. Kitchens has past experience in education, serving on the Sturgeon Bay Board of Education in addition to having served as president of the Sturgeon Bay School Board.

Additional appointments include superintendents of the Green Bay and Grantsburg school districts, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, a UW-Madison education policy professor and the business operations director for Messmer Catholic Schools.

The creation of the task force comes in response to an aging appraisal of Wisconsin’s public schools.

“Times have changed … it’s time to examine the way we pay for schools,” Vos said in a statement.

Lawmakers emphasized that it will be the first review of the system in 20 years.

“With declining enrollments in more than half of the state’s school districts, a thorough analysis is necessary,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. “Every child should have access to a quality education in Wisconsin.”

This commission joins others headed by Vos in recent years as a part of the state’s efforts to tackle issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia, opioids and foster care.

The task force will meet later this month and then begin traveling the state to hear from the public. The panel will then present its findings in a report to the legislature by the end of next year.

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