State Can’t Afford to Ignore City’s Unemployment and Educational Deficits

[Madison, Wis.] – Today, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) noted that Governor Walker’s Wisconsin’s Comeback, highlighted in the State of the State Address, has left many behind in Milwaukee.  “It is unacceptable to have the disparities in employment, education and incarceration that are facing communities of color in our city” said Taylor. 

“There are many hardworking families across the state and especially in my district, who have yet to realize an increase in available jobs” Taylor lamented.  With African-American male unemployment and graduation rates hovering around 56% and 58% respectively, Taylor finds it difficult to praise falling unemployment rates without acknowledging the work that needs to be done to ensure opportunities for all the state’s residents.

Taylor further raised concerns that included the state’s projected 2.2 billion dollar budget shortfall, public safety, and a need for accountability across the board for all schools.  “We can’t talk about being 2nd in the country for ACT scores, but not acknowledge that we have the worst racial achievement gaps in the nation.” she offered. 

Under Walker, public education has been defunded by nearly 2.6 billion dollars.  With states now trying to understand what many have termed a “school to prison pipeline,” the administration’s policies on these issues have led to ballooning corrections costs, without addressing the triggers that lead to incarceration and recidivism.

“I came to the State of the State hoping to hear leadership from the Governor on the tough challenges facing our state.  I left disappointed” Taylor said.

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