MADISON, Wis. — Yesterday, the Cap Times analyzed Tim Michels’ radical education agenda for Wisconsin and found that experts from both sides of the political spectrum agreed that Michels’ school choice plan would drain resources from Wisconsin’s public schools and leave students behind.
Experts agreed that Michels’ undefined “universal school choice” plan could hurt our kids and our public schools. Michels’ plan could drain resources from public schools and force taxpayers to fund two separate school systems – to the detriment of the students left behind in underfunded public schools. The experts also said that schools in Michels’ program might not accept students who present more behavioral or language needs.
Not only that, but the people who stand to benefit the most from Michels’ education plan are wealthy people like Michels and his buddies. One expert who identified as a conservative said of Michels’ plan, “the wealthier people are getting a subsidy. I don’t think that’s good public policy, in any area.” Another expert also expressed concerns about a lack of accountability for schools participating in the choice program.
Michels has said it’s the “definition of insanity” to continue increasing investments in our public schools despite school districts’ dire need for more funding to continue supporting their students. Instead of investing in public education, Michels’ plan would slash funding from neighborhood public schools and direct taxpayer dollars to private schools – a plan that could raise property taxes by over $500 million.
By contrast, Governor Evers is a lifelong educator who is committed to doing the right thing for students, parents, and teachers in our state. Gov. Evers met the state’s two-thirds funding commitment for the first time in nearly two decades, and in his first budget made the first increase in special education funding in a decade because he knows that without the proper resources, our public schools won’t be able to give our kids the education they deserve. Wisconsin’s education system is now ranked eighth in the nation, up from eighteenth under the prior administration.
“Real education experts from both sides of the aisle have agreed that Tim Michels’ education plan is bad for students and bad for Wisconsin,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Hannah Menchhoff. “Unlike Tim Michels, Governor Evers understands the challenges our schools face and will continue investing in student success. Tim Michels knows he’s not an expert when it comes to education, but he’s still backing radical ideas that would only harm our public schools. Yet again he proves himself radical and wrong for Wisconsin.”