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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.
State could miss out on $2.3 billion in K-12 funding with GOP budget — Wisconsin State Journal
Last April Wisconsin unemployment rate was over 14%. Now, the rate is down and job openings are seemingly everywhere. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin lawmakers pass bill that would end extra $300 in unemployment benefits. Evers ‘can’t imagine’ signing it. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Which groups are still dying of COVID in the U.S.? — The New York Times
Democrat Jim Doyle and Republican Scott Walker team up for PSA to encourage COVID-19 vaccines — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
UW-Madison epidemiologist Malia Jones named as Academic Staff Excellence award recipient — Cap Times
Baraboo council eliminates COVID-19 precautions — Baraboo News Republic
Here are places you can get vaccinated in Milwaukee — Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Data to note
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.
Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org 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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