Walker says he might be willing to raise revenue caps ... slightly.
Talking to the State Journal editorial board earlier this week, Gov. Scott Walker said he was open to the idea of raising limits on local funding for school districts and pledged to pass new legislation before the state budget that would outline parameters for adding voucher schools to the state's school accountability system.
Used by the state Department of Public Instruction, the system satisfies requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation by tracking school performance across a number of indicators, including achievement gaps and attendance. How exactly the system would respond to voucher schools, which would expand to districts statewide with more than 4,000 students and that contain two or more low-performing schools under Walker's budget, is being hashed out between voucher school proponents and legislators, according to the newspaper.
On raising revenue caps, which limit the property tax increases districts can impose without winning a referendum, Walker said he was open to the idea, but only if property owners wouldn't see "a dramatic increase" in taxes as a result. His budget includes $129 million in new state aid for K-12 schools, an increase he described as "essentially property tax relief" under questioning by the board. The new aid amounts to about a 1 percent increase and would do little to soften the reduction in funding caused by the 8 percent cut Walker imposed in his first biennial budget.