MADISON, Wis. – With local school board elections a little over a week away, Rebecca Kleefisch is once again trying to bring her radical brand of politics to the classroom by handpicking local school board candidates. All week, WisDems will be showing how the Walker-Kleefisch administration drastically defunded Wisconsin’s public schools and wreaked havoc on our state’s education system.
It all started with the first Walker-Kleefisch budget, which made the biggest cuts to public education in Wisconsin’s history.
In 2011 alone, the administration cut over $800 million from public education in Wisconsin and limited localities’ abilities to collect revenue in order to make up the difference.
Under Kleefisch’s war on schools: teachers couldn’t afford to buy supplies, slowing graduation rates caused Wisconsin’s schools to drop seven spots nationally, the achievement gap between Black and white students graduating high school was the highest in the nation, and Wisconsin had a historic teacher shortage.
Since taking office, Governor Evers has worked hard to make Wisconsin’s schools stronger and better than they were four years ago. Gov. Evers has increased funding for schools by restoring the state’s two-thirds funding commitment and signing the first special education funding increase in over a decade. He’s also investing money to recruit and train high-quality teachers in schools across the state. Today, our K-12 schools are now ranked eighth in the nation.
“Rebecca Kleefisch isn’t interested in lifting up local schools — she wants to use kids as political pawns in her battle for power,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “In 2011, her administration cut hundreds of millions of dollars to public education and passed legislation that resulted in a historic teacher shortage and widened achievement gaps. Today, her message is the same: Rebecca Kleefisch will defund public schools in Wisconsin.”