Special Report
Education

Wisconsin

By Caroline Hendrie — May 03, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Subsidizing schools’ links to a statewide telecommunications backbone now consumes the lion’s share of Wisconsin’s educational technology budget, even as the state has moved forward with major changes in how it collects and manages data from its public schools.

Wisconsin recently began rolling out a new integrated network for transmitting data and video that represents a major upgrade of its existing system for sending those two types of information over the Internet via separate communications lines.

The state has subsidized school districts’ links to such lines since 1998, and will continue doing so for the new system, called BadgerNet II. For the 2004-05 school year, the state has spent $16.5 million on those subsidies, a figure that has risen only slightly in recent years. Officials expect the number to edge up to around $17 million for the 2005-06 school year. Funding for the subsidies come from a statewide tax on consumers’ telephone bills.

Additional state money, totaling about $1.9 million this school year, also will help districts connect to BadgerLink, a statewide resource for magazines, newspapers, and databases.

Wisconsin’s spending on school technology has shrunk significantly in recent years. Two years ago, the state eliminated its Technology Education Achievement—or TEACH—agency, a victim of bad budget times.

With it went annual block grants to districts for computer hardware, software, and consulting services, to the tune of $35 million annually. Also axed was a $4 million-a-year grant program that helped districts train their teachers in using the new technology.

Now, with the advent of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, emerging priorities for Wisconsin are modifications to its systems for collecting and managing data on student achievement and demographics.

Just this past winter, the state cranked up a new system that assigns each public school student a separate identification number, called the Wisconsin Student Number Locator. It also launched the Individual Student Enrollment System, which enables districts to submit data electronically in ways that will facilitate the state’s compliance with the reporting requirements of the federal law.

Events

School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
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.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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: June 15, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read