Scott Walker Tool Kit: Fighting Talking Points With Facts - Education
The greatest tool for advancement for working families, education, is being threatened by Scott Walker. His agenda jeopardizes the tradition of empowering Wisconsin's children and rewarding ability and hard work.
Scott Walker's Budget Cuts $2.6 Billion From Public Education
Between direct reductions to school districts, reduced state aid to localities, cuts to the UW-System and tech colleges, Scott Walker's budget slashed nearly $2.6 billion from public education. Walker and his legislature have defended the cuts, arguing that by eliminating the right to bargain collectively and forcing through higher contributions for health insurance and pensions in the "budget repair bill," they had given school districts the so-called "tools" to offset these reductions. The problem for many schools is that these tools, which are really just cuts, are a one-time solution to a bigger problem. [2011 Wisconsin Act 32]
Scott Walker's Budget Cuts From UW System, Technical Colleges
Another cut in Walker's budget slashed $250 million in support for the UW system and made a 30% reduction in investments in the technical college system.
School Districts Report Walker's Education Cuts Worse Than Expected
Data from the state Department of Public Instruction shows that teacher and staffing cuts caused by the Walker budget are far worse than expected.
This report in totality refutes distorted statements Walker himself has made about how his educational "reforms" are working.
The alarming key findings of the report include proof that Walker’s cuts have caused:
- 73 percent of school districts in the state reported cutting teachers this year
- The 1,446 teacher position cuts represents a 75 percent increase over similar reductions made last year
- 74 percent of school districts to cut staff, including the largest, exorbitant cuts made to reading, special education, career and technical education teachers
As Eau Claire Superintendent Dr. Ron Heilmann told the media recently: "Governor Walker doesn't understand how school financing works."
Note: The data used for this report is collected from all school districts and is used to fulfill various federal reporting requirements.
Scott Walker Cuts in Education are Highest per Student in the Nation
Scott Walker claims to be a leader in education, but where he has led is the single biggest step backward in the history of public education in Wisconsin and the biggest cuts to education per pupil in the nation, according to a recent study by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. [WI Act 10, The Capital Times]
Scott Walker Pushes to Shift Taxpayer Dollars From Public Schools to Unaccountable Private Schools
Walker's budget took power and authority away from local school boards and slashed nearly $1.6 billion in state aid to local public school districts, while increasing funding for schools run by private organizations, including for-profit corporations, like those favored by the conservative American Federation of Children. The American Federation of Children, run in Wisconsin by longtime Republican operative Scott Jensen, a colleague of Scott Walker's in the Legislature, spent nearly $820,000 on independent expenditures and phony issue ads in the 2010 fall elections. Scott Walker himself was the recipient of $70,000 in direct contributions from so-called "choice" advocates. [WI Act 10, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign]