MADISON – Early today, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee threw crumbs to Wisconsin’s public schools while continuing to fill the coffers of private voucher schools. Over the next biennium and on top of $450 million already budgeted, an additional $48 million will be taken from K-12 public schools for private schools. After filling Governor Walker’s unnecessary proposed $127 million cut to public K-12 schools and taking an additional $48 million away for private schools, Wisconsin’s 871,000 public school children will barely see an increase in state money for public schools.
“It was Christmas morning for private voucher schools after Republicans delivered a late night bonanza that included a consistent amount of funding for every child in a private voucher school that only goes up, further expanding this system state-wide with increases in pupil enrollment over the next decade, and even more money for private schools that accept special education students without providing any special instruction. Republicans gave our public schools crumbs, while they served up lobster and caviar for some of their biggest campaign donors, the private voucher school industry which has invested millions in their elections.
“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have followed Governor Walker’s lead in selling out our public schools to the highest bidder. After Republicans slashed $1.3 billion from K-12 since Governor Walker took over, our public school children needed us to make an investment in their future and in our state. Instead of listening to the people of the state who asked repeatedly that K-12 public education be a top priority in this budget, Republicans sided with their special interest friends and campaign donors.”