Report: Wisconsin schools could lose $2.3 billion in pandemic funds under Republican budget -— 6/10/21

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Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin’s K-12 schools could lose out on $2.3 billion in pandemic stimulus funds unless Republican budget writers allocate more state funds directly to education, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. 

That’s an increase from the $1.5 billion in federal funding that the U.S. Department of Education previously warned Wisconsin leaders that they could lose under the current Republican budget. 

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee last month voted to allocate $128 million in new K-12 funding while sending $350 million to the state’s budget stabilization fund, which can be tapped for various purposes. Lawmakers said the stabilization dollars would “maintain education funding stability in the future,” Riley Vetterkind reports. But the U.S. Department of Education says those dollars would not count toward a minimum education investment needed to draw $1.5 billion from the latest COVID-19 relief package — leaving Wisconsin short of needed threshold.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau, meanwhile, said Wisconsin could miss out on an additional $784.4 million for schools under other federal stimulus packages, Vetterkind reports.

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“We are excited this PSA came together. It’s a good reminder that COVID-19 is not a political issue, and we really do have broad agreement.”

UW Health chief quality officer Jeff Pothof, speaking about a video in which former Wisconsin governors Jim Doyle, a Democrat, and Scott Walker, a Republican, urged Wisconsinites to get vaccinated

Data to note

Click on the image above to see Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 vaccine data, which is updated daily.

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Thursday that 48.8% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83.7% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 43.6% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 79.9% of those older than 65. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.

On Thursday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 125 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported 11 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the full toll to 7,200. 

Here is the DHS’ visualization of new COVID-19 deaths, which have fluctuated in recent weeks. 

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.  

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction. 

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Report: Wisconsin schools could lose $2.3 billion in pandemic funds under Republican budget -— 6/10/21 is a post from, a non-profit investigative news site covering Wisconsin since 2009. Please consider making a contribution to support our journalism.

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