MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - A campaign to raise Wisconsin’s 5 percent sales tax by a penny for public schools is getting a little more attention. Since last summer, the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools has focused a “Penny for Kids” campaign on rural areas – where schools are proportionally hardest-hit by budget cuts. But recently, the Madison School Board and its teachers’ union endorsed it. Madison Superintendent Daniel Nerad says a conservation has to start somewhere about problems with the state’s current school funding.
The “Penny for Kids” campaign started after the governor and lawmakers cut $147 million in school funding from the current two-year state budget. Over 1,700 people have signed online petitions saying they’re willing to pay a higher sales tax for schools. But nobody in the Legislature has stepped forward to introduce it. Assembly Democrat Fred Clark of Baraboo says he’s bothered that rural schools in his district have had to make some major cuts. But given the state of the economy, Clark says it won’t be possible this session to find major funding for schools.