Today, U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, sent a letter to State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, writing “We are deeply concerned that the fiscal years 2021-2023 biennial budget currently under consideration by the Joint Finance Committee will render Wisconsin ineligible for more than one billion dollars in federal funding for our K-12 schools.”
“The COVID-19 emergency funding including in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and other covid-19 bills would be a relief to Wisconsin school districts who were forced to shoulder additional education costs due to the pandemic. It would also be critical to helping our students and teachers return to the classroom, after having to deal with the disruption of a deadly pandemic, said Congresswoman Gwen Moore. “Unfortunately, it appears that state legislative leaders are willing to let our students suffer in order to make a political point by needlessly putting federal education funding at risk. After the year we’ve had, we cannot let our Wisconsin families down. That is why I join my colleagues in calling on state legislative leaders to put our children first for a change and act to ensure that our state does not miss out on this critical federal education funding,”
“While every Republican member of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation voted against the American Rescue Plan, we all supported it because it provided much needed federal funding for Wisconsin schools. Now, the Republican-controlled State Legislature is putting federal investments in Wisconsin schools at risk by not doing their part to support our schools, educators, and students. We stepped up to support Wisconsin schools with federal education funding and now it’s time for Republicans in the state legislature to step up too and do the right thing,” said Senator Baldwin.
“Wisconsin teachers, school staff, parents, and students have been through so much over the past year due to COVID-19, and many school districts are struggling with the financial impacts of the pandemic. That’s why I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan and other COVID-19 relief bills, which included emergency funding to make sure our schools can safely reopen and help mitigate additional costs caused by COVID-19,” said Congressman Ron Kind. “Unfortunately, state legislative leaders are now putting this relief at risk, jeopardizing billions of dollars in federal funding for our K-12 schools. Our students and teachers deserve better. I’m joining my colleagues to call on state legislative leaders to stop playing politics with our children’s futures and ensure Wisconsin schools receive this badly needed funding.”
“The GOP-led state legislature is trying to play politics with $2.3 billion in federal aid for Wisconsin schools. We have confirmation from the Department of Education that the GOP’s budget tricks will cost Wisconsin billions in aid to students and schools. The state legislature has a job to do and it is failing—fund education and use the billions in aid to help Wisconsinites get through this crisis—no more games, enough is enough,” said Congressman Mark Pocan.
“Republican lawmakers are playing a high-stakes game with $2.3 billion in funding at risk and willing to ante up our students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Enough is enough. Our students need these federal funds to address school safety, academic achievement and mental health. It is blatantly reckless for legislators to consider passing up Wisconsin’s fair share of funding while other states use it to recover from the pandemic. Governor Evers has been a steady leader throughout the pandemic & is working hard to pass his Badger Bounce Back Budget for children, families and workers but Republican legislators are fighting him every step of the way,” Martin said. “Educators must step up to hold our elected officials accountable. Our students are depending on us.”
Read the full text of the letter here.