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Kleefisch Proposes Ripping Federal Aid Away From Schools, Underfunding Education

MADISON, Wis. —  Yesterday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin held a press conference call featuring current and former teachers to respond to Rebecca Kleefisch’s education agenda. Kleefisch has proposed massive cuts to public education and nonsense ideas like denying public school districts $2 billion in federal pandemic funds.

The Kleefisch-Walker administration drastically underfunded public education and passed legislation creating a historic teacher shortage in Wisconsin.

Teachers across the state pushed back against Kleefisch’s radical agenda. Here’s what they had to say:

Deb Dassow, former teacher and chair of the Ozaukee County Democratic Party: “Tony Evers has always been a person who cared and advocated for Wisconsin families on so many levels. We do not need Radical Rebecca Kleefisch back in our state government. Kleefisch has refused to support Wisconsin public schools. She proudly stood by her administration’s devastating budgets, including slashing $1.2 billion from public K-12 education and $250 million from the UW System. Wisconsin needs to keep Governor Evers as our goalie to stop damaging Republican policies.”

Nathan Ugoretz, current teacher and president of WEAC Region 3: “We should be fully funding our schools at every level and giving our students the opportunity to succeed. This year, Governor Evers finally was able to return education funding to the two-thirds commitment that Republicans and Democrats agreed upon many years ago. Wisconsin needs leaders like Governor Evers who invest in our kids, our teachers, and our schools to ensure all of Wisconsin can bounce back better than it was before.”

Kirah Zeilinger, current teacher and president of WEAC Region 6: “A lifelong educator himself, Governor Tony Evers understands what’s best for our kids is best for the state of Wisconsin. He’s overseen historic increases to education funding, from K-12 schools to community colleges, to the UW university system. Governor Evers is on the side of public education, and we look forward to re-electing him in 2022.”

Tom Zigan, former teacher and president of WEAC retired teachers union: “Governor Evers has always believed that what’s best for our kids is what’s best for the state. In his first term he passed a historic increase in K-12 public education funding, and increased the state’s investment in the UW college system and Wisconsin’s community colleges. Rebecca Kleefisch cannot say the same about her record – she defunded our public schools and refused to support our hardworking teachers. In 2022, public education is on the line. In order to keep moving forward, continue strengthening our public school system, and supporting educators – we must, we simply must, re-elect Governor Tony Evers.”

Jackie Baumann, current teacher and vice president of WEAC Region 3: “Wisconsin needs a governor like Tony Evers who supports our important work, and understands that we cannot play games with our children’s education. He’s made investing in schools a top priority. Rebecca Kleefisch would roll back all the progress made by Governor Evers. In 2022, we’re not just electing a governor, we’re making a decision for the future of our public schools.”

Watch their full remarks here.

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