State agencies submitted their 2017-19 state budget request to Governor Walker last week. Agencies were instructed by the Governor to submit zero-growth budget requests, which he will use to craft the budget bill he introduces in February.
Requests that may be of interest to WEMTA include:
Educational Communications Board
Wisconsin Media Lab Funding: ECB is requesting $650,000 in state funding per year to reestablish their work licensing and producing K-12 educational media content. State funding for the Wisconsin Media Lab was cut in the 2015-17 state budget.
In response to a new requirement to submit a plan to reduce the agency budget by 5%, ECB warned: “In the last two years, the Agency has streamlined, reduced and discontinued services to the point that there is no practical way to trim its budget further. The cascading effects of more cuts in any appropriation will result in ECB failing to meet its mission.”
Department of Public Instruction
WISE Suite Data Systems for Public Libraries: DPI requests a statutory change that would allow them to use funding for the Student information system (WISEdata) and the Longitudinal data system (WISEdash) to establish and maintain a public library information system. Essentially, the request is to allow DPI to use the WISE suite of data systems that is currently used to collect data for students in public, independent charter and private schools, for data collections pertaining to public libraries. DPI is not requesting additional funding related to this proposed change.
Public Library System Aid: DPI requests an increase of $16,377,100 in 2018 and $17,004,900 in 2019, to fund public library system aid.
Newsline for the Blind: DPI requests increases of $16,900 in 2018 and $35,300 in 2019 to maintain the current level of services for Newsline for the Blind.
Library Service Contracts: DPI requests an increase of $3,200 in 2018 and $7,100 in 2019 to fully fund the estimated costs of the library service contracts.
Grants for National Teacher Certification or Master Educator License: DPI requests an increase of $284,300 in 2018 and $303,700 in 2019, to encourage more teachers who are nationally board certified, or who hold a Wisconsin master educator license, to teach in high poverty schools. This request would provide increased grant amounts to those certified educators who teach in high poverty districts, with a greater differential for those who teach in high poverty schools in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) district.
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
BCPL requested a cost-to-continue budget with no major program or personnel changes.