As Scott Walker continues to campaign for president, promoting his dishonest book, “Unintimidated,” Wisconsin Democrats continue to hold Walker accountable for his real record.
After enacting the largest cut ever, $1.6 billion, to Wisconsin public education in his first budget, Scott Walker’s second budget failed to repair the damage he’d done. Instead, Walker forced taxpayers to not only pay for public schools, but give $94 million to unaccountable private voucher schools as well – a statewide expansion, much of which subsidizes parents who already send their children to private schools. Walker’s budget also gives a tax break to anyone – no matter how wealthy they are – that sends their kids to private school.
Education: Scott Walker’s Race to the Bottom For Wisconsin’s Future
- Walker’s first budget cut $1.6 billion from public education – a $550 per student reduction.
- As a result of those cuts, 73 percent of school districts in the state reported cutting teachers that year. A total of 1,446 teacher positions were cut, representing a 75 percent increase over similar reductions made the prior year, and 74 percent of school districts reported they would cut staff, including the cuts made to reading, special education, career and technical education teachers.
- Walker’s second budget failed to repair the damage and didn’t put a penny of new spending back into public school classrooms.
- Instead, Walker expanded unaccountable voucher schools statewide — $94 million representing a 29 percent increase in total funding. This translates to an average per pupil increase of $973.50 ($768 per student in K-8 and $1,414 per pupil for high school students).
- Special interest voucher advocates, headed up by billionaires like the DeVos and Walton families who wrote Scott Walker six-figure checks during the recalls, spent nearly $3 million to expand vouchers in Wisconsin.
- Voucher schools are not accountable to the taxpayers and are able to operate under relaxed guidelines – to include allowing unlicensed teachers and being able to discriminate against students with special needs.
- The Department of Public Instruction reports that 73 percent of children receiving vouchers this year were already attending a private school last year.
- Walker’s budget also gives a tax break to anyone — no matter how wealthy they are — that sends their kids to private school.
- Walker’s education cuts are not limited to K-12 schools.
- Walker’s first budget cut vocational and technical colleges, which administer jobs training programs across the state, by $70 million – a 30 percent reduction in funding that left the tech college system funded at 1989 levels.
- His second budget adds only $5 million back into the technical college system.
- Joint Finance Democrats proposed a budget amendment that would’ve increased tech college funding by $60 million, but Republicans rejected it on a party-line vote.
- Walker has cut the world-class University of Wisconsin system by more than $250 million.