MADISON –An interactive map released today shows how a Legislative Democratic plan increases funding for every school district in Wisconsin. Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee released the K-12 funding plan in June and asked that Republicans join them in restoring funding levels for schools that have seen deep budget cuts since Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011. The map is available here.
“Our public schools are struggling after losing $1 billion in state aid,” said Katrina Shankland (D – Stevens Point). “How can Gov. Walker parade around the state taking credit for his budget while refusing to fully invest in our kids’ education? He’s consistently prioritized special interest giveaways over the future of our children ever since Republicans took total control. Our plan puts us back on track so our kids can have a brighter future.”
“Our children in Milwaukee have been back at school for more than a week, but Gov. Walker and his Republicans in Madison still can’t get their act together,” said Sen. Lena Taylor (D – Milwaukee). “This budget should have been funded before the fiscal year started on July 1 and the budget should have fully restored the funding our schools need. It’s not just enough to keep the lights on, we have to make sure our teachers have the resources they need to educate the next generation of Wisconsinites.”
Gov. Walker went on tour in 2017 to applaud small funding increases from the last budget to the fiscal year 2017 – 2019 budget. His tightly controlled press stops failed to mention the historic reductions in K-12 funding made by a Republican-led legislature that left many schools cutting teachers, training, school repairs, and supplies.
“The only reason Republicans haven’t been able to increase school funding in the last three budgets is that they chose not to,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). “When Republicans don’t prioritize local schools, they hurt our ability to build a strong workforce. This map shows that the Democratic education plan is the best plan for Wisconsin families.”
“If education is truly the biggest priority for Wisconsin state leaders, there should be no disagreement. Our plan restores school funding, reduced property taxes and expands education opportunities across the state. The fact that the majority continues to stall and argue over adequately funding public education makes it clear this issue is still not a top priority for Republicans,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).