Census Figures Show Cuts In Education Funding

6/1/11 – Census figures show that Wisconsin schools spent more-per-student than the national average in 2009. But a state education official says the Badger State is losing its standing as one of the top K-to-12 school systems in the country. With schools facing an 800-million dollar cut in state aid over the next two years, educators are saying that Advanced Placement classes for high-performing students will most likely be on the chopping block – along with art, music, and physical education classes. That’s according to state education services’ director John Johnson, who says bigger class sizes could also be on the way. He said Tommy Thompson’s revenue caps in 1993 have had Wisconsin schools slashing their expenses and spending ever since. As a result, Johnson said the state now ranks 19th in revenues for supporting students – down from the 12th-highest in 2000. He also points to Census data showing that Wisconsin teacher salaries have slipped. They used to be the 11th-highest a decade ago – but now, they’re around an average rank of 22nd.