School funding commission schedules hearing March 5 in La Crosse

The Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will hold a public hearing Monday, March 5, 2018, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the North Woods International School, N2541 Sablewood Rd., La Crosse.

The Blue Ribbon Commission will hear testimony from invited speakers including representatives from the Sparta Public School District, Onalaska School District, and CESA 4.

Following the presentations, members of the public are invited to speak and share their thoughts. To ensure all of those in attendance are able to be heard, public testimony will be limited to 5 minutes. Hearing will conclude at 6:00 p.m.

The commission is tasked with examining:

  • The effects of distributing general aid through our equalization aid formula. Attention will also be given to other factors that could improve our efforts to provide equal educational opportunities to all pupils;
  • The relationship between declining enrollment districts and the fixed costs that districts face, and the possible incorporation of a minimum aid per district;
  • Evaluating transportation costs and how districts pay for those costs;
  • Review of high-cost categorical aids and the consideration of other aids that could be created to meet specific needs;
  • Methods to better align funding for various school choice options such as open enrollment, school choice and independent charter schools;
  • Consideration of funding levels for certain extended learning opportunities like summer school, preschool or dual enrollment;
  • Options to provide revenue-limit equity to low-spending districts; and
  • Other technical changes that could improve the transparency of the school finance system.