Rep. Shankland: Statement on Walker’s K-12 Education Budget
By Rep. Katrina Shankland, Urban Milwaukee
MADISON – Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), a member of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, released the following statement today in response to Governor Walker’s K-12 education budget plan:
“Our public schools have lost over a billion dollars in state aid under Governor Walker, leaving school districts at a breaking point. Voters across Wisconsin have had to raise their own property taxes just to keep the lights on at their neighborhood public schools. The governor’s attempt to repair the damage he has caused does not deserve celebration.
“Even if no new cut is included in this budget, public schools will still lose funding meant for them thanks to the millions of dollars that are being shifted directly from public schools to private voucher schools – up to $800 million through 2025. Unless Republicans stop the growth of the voucher program, public schools will continue to struggle and our children will lose out.
“This new budget doesn’t dig Governor Walker out of the hole that he created to reward the private voucher lobby, and it doesn’t make up for the millions in additional property taxes that Wisconsinites have had to pay to fund their local schools. The damage Republicans have caused public schools during their six years of one-party rule will take much more to repair than what the governor is proposing.
“I’m looking forward to reviewing the governor’s proposal, but question how the school aid will be distributed to our neediest schools and how many tax dollars will continue to be funneled to private voucher schools. It’s time for the state to make real investments in public education and stop irresponsibly prioritizing private interests over those of our children.”