Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Item #36 in the Omnibus Education Motion #538 Could Be Called the Hudson Option

Disclaimer:  I should probably note here that the opinions shared here are my own and not intended to be the official version of events.

Let's get everything lined up here.

First of all......

Omnibus motion.   One in which multiple requests, or, in this case, multiple changes and/or additions to a budget bill, are made in a single motion.

Omnibus Education Motion #538, passed by the Joint Finance Committee on a 12-4 party line vote that occurred later than this..
  1. State Support for K-12 Education and General School Aids
  2. Funding Level Lottery and Gaming Credit Reestimate. 
  3. General Aid Calculation for Consolidated School Districts 
  4. Revenue Limit Adjustment for Uncounted Open Enrollment Pupils 
  5. School Performance Incentive Grants
  6. Educator Effectiveness Evaluation System
  7. High Cost Transportation Aid
  8. Milwaukee and Racine Parental Choice Programs— Per Pupil Payments 
  9. Expansion of Parental Choice Program for Eligible School Districts 
  10. Parental Choice Programs — Certificate of Occupancy
  11. Parental Choice Programs — Building Usage Charge
  12. Parental Choice Programs — Summer School Payment
  13. Parental Choice Programs—Reserve Fund
  14. Parental Choice Programs— Annual Financial Reports
  15. Parental Choice Programs—Calculation of Educational Costs
  16. Parental Choice Programs— Teacher's Aide Proof of High School Diploma
  17. Parental Choice Programs— Additional Accrediting Agency
  18. Parental Choice Programs—Student Priority
  19. Parental Choice Programs— Maintaining School Accreditation
  20. Special Needs Scholarships
  21. Independent "2r" Charter School Program Reestimate
  22. Independent "2r" Charter School Per Pupil Payment Amount
  23. UW-Milwaukee "2r" Charter Schools
  24. Charter School Oversight Board
  25. Contract Provisions for Independent "2r" Charter Schools
  26. Contract Requirements for School District Sponsored Charter Schools
  27. Expand Part-Time Open Enrollment Program to Course Options Program
  28. Pupils Enrolled in Home-Based Private Educational Programs
  29. Charter School Authorizing Entity Duties
  30. Charter School Governing Boards
  31. Charter School Admissions.
  32. Converting Public Schools to Charter Schools
  33. Open Enrollment Per Pupil Transfer Amount.
  34. Work Based Learning Program School.
  35. National Forest Income
  36. County Library Levy Exemption for Joint Libraries.
  37. Energy Efficiency Revenue Limit Adjustment  
  38. Community Service Levy 
  39. School Accountability Report Cards
That's one crowded bus!

Now...I bet you're probably curious about #36.

Who is responsible for this particular item in the omnibus motion?  If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson), former mayor of the City of Hudson.

The Hudson Area Library's situation is the result of an error made for a number of years on the annual report submitted to the Department of Public Instruction, specifically with regard to the question, "Did your library's municipality exempt itself from the county library tax?"  The answer should have been "no".

Hudson Area Library Fixes Critical Error in Annual Report.  (Hudson Patch, 3/21/2012)

As a result, the City of Hudson's 2012 appropriation to the library was significantly below the minimum to exempt.   (The same is true of the other 3 participating municipalities:  the village of North Hudson and the townships of Hudson and St. Joseph.)

Rep. Knudson's magic wand to the rescue.  (At least this seems to be a safe assumption.)

Of course, the big irony here is it appears that we have the return of maintenance of effort for 28 public libraries in Wisconsin.  But the more item #36 rolls around inside my head, the more I think the final version of the statutory language will be very limited in its impact -- not much more than a "Hudson option".  I suspect that it will impact only those municipalities participating in joint libraries that fall below the minimum to exempt from the county library tax.  So if any "MOE' door is open, it will be a barely perceptible crack.  And I'm familiar with just two joint libraries, highlighted below, where this has been an issue.  (Not that they aren't any others.)

Anyway, the table below lists the 28 joint libraries in Wisconsin.

The dollar amounts in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 columns are the municipal appropriations as listed in the Wisconsin Public Library Service Data.  And as you can clearly see, the 2011 resident per capita support is all over the map.  (The 2011 statewide average is $40.81.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks--great overview--appreciate seeing the facts and reading your interpretation!