A liberal group accuses Governor Walker of using his Wisconsin technical schools tour as a photo opportunity.
Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now questions Governor Scott Walker’s motive as the Republican tours five of the state’s 16 technical colleges just two days after being elected to a second term. “He’s using technical colleges as a photo-op as he prepares to make another run for higher office and it’s a sad indictment on Governor Walker’s priorities,” Ross says, “because technical colleges help Wisconsin’s economy grow.”
Ross wonders whether there will be any real policy changes to help Wisconsinites earn a higher education or acquire job training while avoiding seemingly endless student loan debt.
Walker has said he’s already working on an agenda for his next term. Thursday’s stops are part of his so-called “Working for Wisconsin” tour, in which the governor is promoting worker training. Walker was meeting with students and faculty at technical colleges in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau, La Crosse, and Madison, according to his office, to highlight the important role they play in meeting the demands of today’s workforce.
Ross believes several Walker policies have harmed technical colleges and students, including under-funding financial aid. “Governor Walker cut technical colleges by $70 million,” Ross says, “he denied 38,000 eligible technical college students financial aid, and he refuses to support a plan that would allow technical college students across the state of Wisconsin to refinance their student loans at a lower rate.”
In a statement, the governor’s office says Walker’s agenda includes investing in the workforce, so people have the opportunity to learn the skills they need for the jobs of today and of tomorrow. “Under Governor Walker, the state has invested $135 million in workforce development. Beyond traditional educational investments, Governor Walker’s plan provides worker training grants in areas of immediate need, including items like training for healthcare-related jobs in rural and high poverty areas.”
Walker is also being criticized for not attending a meeting of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents being held Thursday — the same day as his tech school tour.