Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. While it was impossible to predict the fiscal impact the pandemic would have on our state, good solid, common-sense budgeting will help us get through it.

Not long ago, Business Insider said Wisconsin is among the best fiscally prepared states to handle a recession. Also, the real estate website Redfin, lists the Milwaukee area as one of the places with the lowest economic risk in this recession. Thanks to careful budgeting, we are in much better shape than many other states to rebound quickly.

Despite many uncertainties, schools will have a record amount of aid this semester. With state aid from our previous budget and the federal CARES Act funding, our schools are in better shape to face this crisis than schools in many other states. You can read more about that and updated COVID-19 statistics below!

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Record School Funding
While there is a lot of uncertainty facing the upcoming school year, one thing that is certain is that our schools will be funded at historic levels to help with their current state of affairs.
 
I worked hard to make sure the state budget created opportunities for every person in Wisconsin to succeed. Our budget made record investments into our state’s healthcare, education, workforce, and infrastructure without raising taxes.  
 
Kids will benefit from our record investments into education. It adds an additional $500 million to K-12 schools, bringing the state’s total investment to $12.3 billion. This includes a 22% increase for special education funding. That’s the same increase Tony Evers asked for as State Superintendent of public schools. 
 
We are funding and increase in per pupil funding of $604 over the biennium, something many of our school districts requested. It doubles the funding for mental health in schools and invests in innovative solutions to bring more mental health providers into the workforce. This will make sure more children can get help when they need it.
 
So while school will be different this year, I made sure our school kids remain the top priority in Wisconsin.
Back to School Plans
Here is a quick summary of the back-to-school plans for our local districts.

Brown Deer: Families will have the option to choose between virtual learning or a five-phase gradual return to face-to-face learning.

Foxpoint-Bayside: The district will use a hybrid model with students having in school instruction twice a week and virtual instruction twice a week with unstructured learning on Fridays. Kindergarten will be in school four days a week.

Germantown: Parents will be able to pick between face-to-face instruction or virtual learning.

Glendale-River Hills: School will begin virtually.

Grafton: Students will have the option of virtual learning or face-to-face instruction with social distancing.

Hamilton: Families will have the option to choose in-person or virtual instruction.

Maple Dale - Indian Hill: School will start on September 1st with a hybrid model. Students will be in school for two days and will learn virtually three days. The district hopes to return to full in-person learning in October.

Menomonee Falls: Students will choose between all virtual instruction or a hybrid option depending on attendance and health data.

Mequon-Thiensville: Students will return to class five days a week. Students who do not feel comfortable will have an option to learn virtually.

Milwaukee Public Schools: School will begin virtually and will move to a hybrid model in 30 to 45 days.

Nicolet Union High School District: School will begin with virtual learning.

For more details on district plans, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compiled a list of area schools and their status. You can find that article here.
COVID-19 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data reported on August 12, 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on coronavirus cases in our area.
Emergency Room Visits with COVID Symptoms
According to data from the Center for Disease Control, emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms are around two percent.

COVID-19 Testing Available
Around the 8th...
On Wednesday, Representative Brandtjen and I joined the Waukesha County Center for Growth and Waukesha County Business Alliance at a groundbreaking for a new apartment community called Rock Ridge Village in Lannon.

This exciting new development will help provide housing for healthcare workers and many others in this growing area.