MADISON, Wis. – Representative Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb), ranking member on the Assembly Committee on Education, released the following statement today in response to Governor Walker’s proposed K-12 education plan:
“For six long years, Governor Walker and Republican leadership have been slashing funds for public education. It is clear this is an attempt by the governor to score political points after seeing his approval rating plummet following his short, failed presidential run,” said Rep. Pope. “Until now he has been content with ignoring the needs of educators and the challenges they have faced due to the massive cuts he enacted.”
“Now that it’s no longer politically convenient to ignore our neighborhood public schools, Governor Walker is trying to paint himself as a friend of public education,” Rep. Pope said. “The simple fact of the matter is that this new plan won’t undo the losses and damage caused by the largest education funding cut in the state’s history, and it will not bring back the thousands of teachers chased out of their profession by 2011’s Act 10.”
The majority of additional funding will be distributed through the categorical per-pupil aid, not through general state aid.
“The governor has failed to recognize the opportunity to fix the funding formula as a long-term solution to the problems created by his policies. His proposal is merely a band-aid and does not plan for adequate and equitable funding for the future,” said Rep. Pope. “Until this formula is fixed, and as money continues to flow to expanding, unaccountable voucher programs, the governor should hold off on any victory laps.”