Tuesday October 23, 2018

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Education Cuts Still Hurt as Much as Ever PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 22:22

school-bus-kidsIn his two terms a Governor, Walker has slashed education funding, antagonized educators, and forced students to suffer the consequences.


MADISON - Back to school day should be a time filled with optimism, new challenges, and new opportunities. But as kids get ready for another school year here in Wisconsin, the damage done by Governor Scott Walker’s anti-education agenda looms as large as ever.

Driven by partisan politics and personal ambition, Walker has methodically worked to dismantle and deregulate the state’s education system. Through his two terms a Governor, Walker has slashed education funding, antagonized educators, and forced students to suffer the consequences.

school-closed His terrible record is clear. On funding Wisconsin schools and supporting its teachers and students, Scott Walker has earned himself a failing grade. 

Record Cuts

As soon as he took office, Scott Walker declared war on public education. Walker’s first budget made record cuts to education funding, eliminating $800 million from public schools. School districts had to deal with a median decrease in aid of nearly 10%. But he didn’t stop there. Years after his initial cuts, Walker pushed through more reductions in funding. Headlines and editorials across the state describe the cuts using words like savages, dismember, and travesty, and they still might not have adequately captured how much damage was done.

These cuts have been so devastating, schools across the state have gone to referendum to raise to properly fund their school systems. Since 2011, more than 1 million Wisconsinites have voted to raise their own property taxes because Scott Walker and the Republican legislature have not adequately funded our public schools.

Over the last eight years, Tony Evers’ budget proposals would have provided $2.4 billion in additional education funding, while holding the line on taxes. Walker’s budget proposals would leave Wisconsin school with $63 million less in funding than when he took office.

Walker also signed off on a controversial special needs voucher program for private schools, while providing no funding for Wisconsin’s primary special education aid. Tony has put our most vulnerable student first, proposing more funding for special education aid in every budget.

Attacking Educators

As if the record funding cuts weren’t hard enough on educators already, Walker went after their paychecks too. Act 10 gutted teacher bargaining power, and effectively cut their take home pay. Just 5 years after Act 10, the median compensation for Wisconsin teachers had dropped by 12.6%. Now Wisconsin teacher pay ranks below the national average and lower than each one of its Midwest neighbors. So not only did Walker ask Wisconsin educators to do more with fewer resources, he paid them less to do it.

With poorer working conditions and lower pay, it’s no shock teachers fled the state in droves. The year after Act 10 was passed, the teacher exit rate nearly doubled from 6.4% to 10.5%, and remains at an elevated level of 8.8%. With so many educators leaving, Wisconsin schools are filled with less experienced teachers. Nearly a quarter have less than five years of experience.

Walker’s proposed solution to the rapidly growing teacher shortage was cutting time in the classroom and lowering qualifications for new hires. That’s the Walker education legacy: less time in the classroom, fewer qualified teachers.

Students Suffered

The deteriorating conditions took their toll on Wisconsin students. The numbers don’t lie. Now, Wisconsin spends about $1,000 less per pupil than before Walker took office and ranks below six other Midwest states.

Lower income and minority communities have especially suffered. Under Walker, Wisconsin has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the entire country. Walker also ended a class size reduction program that had been shown to raise achievement and graduation rates in low income schools.

Walker pushed a partisan agenda, and students suffered across the board.

Conclusion

Of all the terrible policies Scott Walker has implemented in his eight years as governor, his relentless attacks on public education might be the worst. Walker systematically stripped schools of their resources, drove away talented educators, and forced students to get by with less. All together his policies have resulted in fewer students graduating and fewer kids prepared for the future.

Now that he’s in an election year, Walker is making all sorts of promises in an effort to gloss over his record of destruction and failure. Unfortunately for him, the results speak for themselves, and Wisconsin families won’t be fooled.

For too long, Walker has played politics with our schools, and people are fed up. Wisconsin’s education problem starts at the top. The only way to get back on track to fully funding our schools and supporting our students is to get rid of Scott Walker once and for all. This November, Wisconsin will elect Tony Evers, who has spent his life dedicated to education, as its next Governor.

 
DPW Blasts Scott Walker for Illegal State Plane Use PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 21:52

scott-walkerVideo Says "We All Pay for Scott Walker's Ambitions"


MADISON -- Following a scathing report from One Wisconsin Now that Scott Walker used his taxpayer-funded state plane to fly to Rhinelander to film a campaign commercial, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has released a new video entitled “We All Pay for Scott Walker’s Ambitions.”

The spot calls out Scott Walker for using $2,017 of taxpayer money for a campaign activity. In addition, the video features new reports of local residents of Three Lakes School who felt they were tricked into filming the ad, with one resident saying, “[Walker] played upon the naivete of people here.”

Finally, the video highlights the hypocrisy of Scott Walker’s self-congratulatory ad, when the district had to pass a $15 million referendum last year just to keep their doors open because of Walker’s deep education cuts.  

Scott Walker owes Three Lakes an apology for improperly using their district for his own partisan games, and he owes Wisconsin taxpayers an apology for abusing their hard-earned dollars.

TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:

Wisconsin taxpayers helped pay for this Scott Walker campaign commercial.

Walker traveled to Three Lakes on a taxpayer-funded airplane to film it.

That’s illegal.

“A campaign ad for Gov. Scott Walker is drawing concern tonight”

“He played upon the naïveté of people here”

Parents had a reason to be angry

The town had to pass a $15 million referendum last year

Because of Walker’s cuts to education, Three Lakes voted to raise their own taxes, just to keep the schools open.

We all pay the price for Scott Walker’s political ambitions.

# # #

 
Local Leaders Call for Fixing the Road Budget PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 04:46

road-construction-workerRoads across the state are deteriorating and the current administration and republican leaders have not addressed the funding problem. Revenue for roads is down and borrowing is up. This is not sustainable.

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Walker Has Worked to Decrease Access to the Polls PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by League of Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Monday, 03 September 2018 21:12

univ-student-voteEighth Entry in ‘Walker’s Wisconsin’ Series is all about voting rights.

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