State Superintendent makes a push for more special education funding in Wisconsin schools

Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is making a huge push for more public school funding. August 1st, 2018 (WLUK/Amber Luckett)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is making a huge push for more public school funding.

During the kick off Wisconsin's Annual Public Education Network Summit Wednesday, Evers announced plans to ask for $969 million for special education funding in the next state budget.

"We need to prioritize student mental health, we need to shatter the decade long freeze on special education funding, we need to restore our education system, and expand crucial student support service," said Evers. "It really is about giving kids that need an extra lift, get that extra lift and everyone is supportive of that," he said.

Without the 163 percent increase, Evers said Wisconsin school will continue to come up short in providing students with the resources they need.

Appleton School Board member Jim Bowman agreed and said the additional money is needed to give students with special needs a quality education.

"The special education funding is a big issue because the districts are getting reimbursed for just 26 percent of their costs and we are mandated by federal statute that special education students get everything they need," said Bowman. "So we come up short every year and that extra funding will help us," he explained.

While some are on board with Evers proposal, others are questioning his motives. With Ever's being one of eight democratic candidates running for governor, current Governor Scott Walker said his proposal is just another tactic to sway voters.

"If people want to go back to those policies and troubled times then they can certainly pick someone other than me, but if you want to keep Wisconsin moving forward then they can vote for me," said Walker.

Evers said his request for more funding is to make Wisconsin public schools better and has nothing to do with the August 14 primary election.

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