Contact: Kate Constalie, [email protected], 608-266-5490
Local taxpayers forced to make up for Republican cuts to education
MADISON – After a challenging year of party infighting, missteps and lagging approval numbers, Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans are attempting to re-write their own failed history on education. A new memo released by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau highlights that $3.78 billion in state funding has been cut from Wisconsin schools since 2011 when indexed for inflation.
“For years, Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans have made historic cuts to Wisconsin’s public schools and unfairly shifted a greater burden onto local communities and property taxpayers,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Communities that have to rely on school funding through local referendums know that Republicans are no friend to education.”
A report from the non-partisan Wisconsin Policy Forum revealed that more referendums have passed under the Walker administration than any other administration over twenty years. Additionally since 2011, voters approved $5.4 billion for school funding through referendums to offset Republican budget cuts and keep school doors open.
“It’s time to stop shortchanging Wisconsin children and start investing in our state’s future,” added Sen. Shilling. “Massive giveaways to foreign corporations and tax breaks for the wealthy are creating an unfair playing field for communities that can’t afford to lay off more teachers, eliminate courses, and defer safety and maintenance projects. Despite the misplaced priorities from Republicans, Democrats remain committed to restoring Wisconsin’s reputation as a leader in K-12 education.”
The education proposal adopted by Legislative Republicans in the 2017-19 budget cut $18.1 million from school sparsity aid, diverted additional funding to unaccountable private voucher schools and capped 2018-19 general school aid at a lower funding level than 2010-11.