Foundation Plan Has Pros and Cons

The way we fund our schools is about to change.

Gov. Jim Doyle says he is looking at a foundation plan to spread money more evenly.

Currently, the amount of money each school district spends per student ranges from $7 to $14,000. The number is dependent on the property values in the district.

Under a foundation plan, each school gets the same amount. The money comes from either a statewide property tax, or an increased sales tax.

But the problem comes with districts with a lot of special needs students.

Wausau has a high number of special education and English as a second language programs. Under a foundation plan they would be under-funded because it costs more to educate kids in those programs than normal students.

School Districts like Antigo would also suffer because of their large area. There is no money available for large transportation budgets or spread out schools.

Marshfield Superintendent David Smette says the best method is to take the foundation plan and incorporate exceptions for each school district.

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