GREEN BAY — Governor Walker talked Friday about how he wants to use some of Wisconsin's $484 million surplus to invest in schools.
"We'll put additional funding in overall for school aids in the state," Gov. Walker said.
At an education conference Friday, Governor Walker said he will increase dollars for public schools two years after an $800 million cut.
However, he added the money won't come close to replacing what was lost.
"This is not about backfilling things in. We feel two years ago, in the budget process, we gave schools the tools they needed to account for that," Walker said.
The governor didn't say how much more money he will put into schools. He indicated he would not be lifting the lid on revenue limits, which determine how much state aid and property tax income school districts can spend.
"I'd like to see a balance there, so we'll put additional aid in, but we also want to make sure that we keep property taxes in check," Walker said.
Green Bay School District officials say the possibility of additional dollars for public schools is good news.
"If we look at this next school year, and we received only the $50 dollar per student, which we received this year, we would probably be looking at a five million dollar budget deficit," said Alan Wagner, district chief financial officer for the Green Bay School District.
He says he's eager to learn more about the state's commitment.
"We certainly are more optimistic that with the increase in the economy that the school districts will benefit better than they have in past years," Wagner said.
Walker says his budget will include incentive payments for high-performing school districts, as well as funds for those districts on the other end of the spectrum.
Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen wonders how much extra funding will be available and questions how districts will be able to spend the money.
"I don't think Madison or the governor knows best. I think local schools should have some flexibility in how they spend those dollars and how they are put into place, but again education is important. We've got to make sure we do a good job," Sen. Hansen said.
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