Wisconsin’s technical colleges are bracing for budget cuts. Wisconsin Technical College System President Dan Clancy says Governor Scott Walker’s proposed two year state budget would cut tech school funding about $36 million per year. “That reduces our state aid significantly,” said Clancy. “Right now the colleges receive about $137 million in state aid. That’s about a 26% reduction in state support.”
But what about the savings – some $58 million – in health care and pension costs promised by the governor’s budget repair bill? “We see, at least going out for the first year, and perhaps even in the second year, that the savings just don’t match the reductions that would occur,” said Clancy. “One of the difficulties is that there are already in place agreements, contracts with employees in which the pension is fully funded by the college.”
“The cut in state aid is one thing, there’s also a freeze on the property tax levy, which is also pretty significant, the fact that there would not be any growth allowed in the property tax levy,” said Clancy. With Walker’s stated goal of creating 250,000 new jobs, Clancy said the budget hits come at a time when the 16 campus tech college system will be expected to play a crucial role in job training and economic growth.