Democrats in the state Assembly are raising concerns about the Governor’s proposed budget cuts and policy changes for education. Those worries come from the almost $900 million in state aid schools will lose under Governor Walker’s biennial budget plan.
State Representative Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Madison) says those cuts, combined with a move to ease restrictions on voucher programs and charter schools, will damage public education. Pope-Roberts says she sees the entire plan as a move toward privatizing schools across the state, which she believes would be disastrous for Wisconsin.
State Legislative Fiscal Bureau numbers show schools face a revenue reduction of 5.5-percent under the Governor’s plan. Walker has argued recent changes to collective bargaining will give districts the tools needed to cut costs and make up those losses.
Pope-Roberts says those tools are more like “hatchets and hammers” that will only force school districts to break up important parts of public education.
State Representative Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) worries districts will have no choice but to cut back on the basics of education and lay-off teachers. He says larger classrooms, small schools closing, and lost programs will be common if the proposed cuts state in the budget.
Pope-Roberts says Walker’s proposals are drastic and draconian, and will damage the quality of education.