During his time as Governor, Scott Walker enacted the biggest cuts to education in our state's history and they have left a lasting scar on our state.
Wisconsin teachers continue to work miracles with a difficult budget and recruitment and retention issues due to 2011 Act 10, but more must be done. Our teachers know that the recent slight dip in test scores isn't surprising, it is the result of Walker and legislative Republican's drastic funding cuts. Larger class sizes, resources re-allocated to unaccountable private and voucher schools, and low test scores are the direct result of Republican-led deliberate harm to public education.
As Derek Bok said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
Thankfully, Governor Evers knows that what is best for our kids is what is best for our state and used his veto power to increase school spending by an additional $65 million in the 2019 biennial budget.
I share Superintendent Taylor’s goal of working together on behalf of every child and ensuring equity in education. The power and promise of education - particularly for our most under served students - is central to our state's future.
Through local funding referendums, the work and sacrifice of educational professionals, and an increased direct financial burden on families with school children, our public school system has remained good - but it could be great.
Here is the current legislation I have sponsored to increase funding and transparency in education:
SB138, Professional Development for Character Education: funding professional development training in character education for teachers, pupil service professionals, principals, and school district administrators, granting rule-making authority. Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about, and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.
AB299, Transparency in Voucher Funding: provides full transparency to residents of Wisconsin about how their property tax dollars are spent. This would require property tax bills to include information from the school district where the property is located regarding the amount of any net reduction in state aid, if any, to the district as a result of pupils enrolled in the statewide voucher program.
The legis.wisconsin.gov website list includes a list of all of the legislation I’ve introduced this session, where you can search for legislation based on keyword, topic, or bill number, and see committee schedules.