Statement from Senator Chris Larson on the State of Education
MADISON – The following statement was made by Senator Chris Larson regarding the State of Education speech given by State Superintendent Tony Evers:
“Today, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Evers, reminded all of Wisconsin of the importance our public schools have in our communities. This annual address comes just days after the passage of the largest budget in our state’s history. Despite spending a record of $76 billion, our kids were not a priority.
“Superintendent Evers reminded us that budget after budget, Republicans in control of our state have failed our children and put their future in jeopardy by intentionally denying them adequate and equitable funding for their education.
“Under Walker and the GOP, our state’s commitment to our neighborhood schools has plummeted. The state budget signed by the governor today marks the second-lowest percentage of state general spending on education of the last 12 state budgets. With the passage of the 2017-2019 state budget Wisconsin has dropped below the national average in per-child funding.
“In his speech, Superintendent Evers recognized the vital role our schools play in ensuring access to the most basic needs: food, reliable transportation, health care, and a supportive environment. If Wisconsin finally accepted our share of the Medicaid expansion, our community schools would be able to offer our children critical services to reduce roadblocks to learning. I applaud his leadership and offer my full support to the effort to provide safe, supportive learning environments for our kids.
“As noted by Superintendent Evers, Wisconsin has a long way to go to restore our schools to the pre-Walker era; however, the citizens of our great state have stepped up along the way.
“Faced with years of budget cuts to our local schools, over a million of our neighbors have voted through referendums to invest more in their local neighborhood schools to offer their children, community, and state the brightest possible future. We are truly stronger together. It is time those in power hear the call of the people and finally realize there is nothing more important than our children.”