MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans are once again attempting to cover up their abysmal record of underfunding public education. A GOP-authored bill moving through the state legislature would direct Gov. Evers to spend federal pandemic funds on education – strange considering Republicans have repeatedly struck down funding for mental health and K-12 schools.
In his most recent state budget, Gov. Evers proposed significant investments in education and mental health. But Republicans cut his investments in school mental health aid by $16.5 million, and completely removed increased funding for mental health training of school professionals. And then, due to their underfunding of education, the GOP jeopardized more than $2 billion in federal funds for K-12 schools.
Thanks to Gov. Evers’ leadership, Wisconsin has a historic $2.5 billion general fund surplus, meaning the state absolutely has the resources to invest in long-term funding for mental health resources in schools. But instead of doing what’s best for our kids, Republicans are engaging in a political chess match.
Republicans have threatened to slow down pandemic relief before with their political games. Earlier this year, Republican politicians took up legislation to spend $2 billion in federal relief funding in ways that may not have been permitted under the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Gov. Evers already proposed investments in mental health and education – and Republicans said no because it didn’t fit their political agenda,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Kayla Anderson. “If Republicans actually wanted to help our kids, they would have approved long-term state funding for mental health resources in schools earlier this year. Robin Vos and his Republican colleagues need to quit playing partisan games and get to work on practical solutions that will actually move our state forward. Wisconsinites can continue to count on Gov. Evers to put them first as he helps our families, schools, small businesses, and communities bounce back better than before.”