Tax-Reform Effort Fails in Special Session

By Caroline Hendrie — September 21, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print


Following a regular session that saw relatively modest action on the education front, state legislators reconvened late last month for a short-lived special session focused on a proposal to limit spending on state and local government, including public schools.

The unexpected one-day session fizzled on July 28 without a floor vote in either chamber on a proposed amendment to the state constitution known as the “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.” Modeled loosely after one enacted in Colorado, the amendment would have limited spending increases by state and local government bodies to 90 percent of the three-year average growth rate in personal income statewide.

Gov. James E. Doyle
15 Democrats
18 Republicans

39 Democrats
59 Republicans

880,000 (K-12)

GOP leaders promised to bring the measure back early next year, while Democrats and school groups vowed to continue their opposition. The amendment would have to clear the legislature in two consecutive sessions before going to a statewide vote. The earliest date for such a referendum would be 2007.

The dust-up came as state spending for public schools rose by 1 percent for the fiscal year that began July 1, under terms of a biennial budget enacted last year. That increase brought the bottom line for state spending on K-12 schools to nearly $4.9 billion in fiscal 2004-05.

The only major program eliminated this fiscal year was state funding for drivers’ education programs—for a savings of $3.8 million.

Meanwhile, the governor signed legislation imposing new financial requirements on private schools participating in the Milwaukee voucher program, and granted state officials new powers to kick schools out of the state-run program. (“Milwaukee Voucher Schools to See Increased Accountability to State,” March 24, 2004.)


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Combatting Teacher Shortages: Strategies for Classroom Balance and Learning Success
Learn from leaders in education as they share insights and strategies to support teachers and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Reading Instruction and AI: New Strategies for the Big Education Challenges of Our Time
Join the conversation as experts in the field explore these instructional pain points and offer game-changing guidance for K-12 leaders and educators.
Education Webinar The K-12 Leader: Data and Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know
Which topics are capturing the attention of district and school leaders? Discover how to align your content with the topics your target audience cares about most. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week
Education Briefly Stated: August 30, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 23, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read