Evers follows through on promise to give Wisconsin schools $110 million in federal aid

Gov Tony Evers announces increased education funding during a press conference in Milwaukee
WISC-TV/Channel3000.com

MILWAUKEE — Gov. Tony Evers has followed through on a promise he made months ago to use millions in federal funding to support Wisconsin kids and schools.

During a Thursday morning press conference at a Milwaukee-area high school, Evers announced $110 million of federal coronavirus relief funds will be distributed to all Wisconsin school districts, equaling an additional $133.72 in per-pupil aid.

“Our kids and schools have faced unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus pandemic—from distance learning to reducing class sizes, to spending money that had been budgeted for pencils on PPE,” Evers said. “This $110 million investment is an opportunity for schools to invest directly into programming to help students both in and out of the classroom, allowing schools to hire additional educators and staff, provide more educational and extracurricular opportunities, invest in mental health supports, buy art supplies or computers, or keep the lights on—whatever they need and, most importantly, whatever our kids need. I’ve always said what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, and these funds will go a long way toward helping ensure our kids get the services and resources they need to rebound and recover.”

During the 2021-23 budget process, Evers said he wanted to tap into the state’s projected $4.4 billion surplus to increase the state’s K-12 funding, but the GOP-led legislature, which ultimately wrote its own budget that was later signed by Evers, disagreed.

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When signing the GOP-written 21-23 budget, Evers said its education funding “isn’t good enough for our kids” and promised to give schools $100 million to use to their liking to fill any potential gaps in the budget. Evers said he signed the budget so the state wouldn’t miss out on billions in federal coronavirus relief funds.

After signing, Evers called a special legislative session for lawmakers to provide an additional $500 million for Wisconsin schools and students; lawmakers gaveled in and out within 30 seconds.

RELATED: Wisconsin Republicans immediately end special session on education funding with no action