Investing in our public schools

Capitol Connection By State Senator Joe Leibham

Every day, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on which I serve is working to make tough decisions to balance our state budget, protect our taxpayers, and prioritize our funding decisions on programs that provide valuable services to the citizens of our state. This task is challenging due to years of irresponsible budgeting, but we are making progress at reforming our government and reducing spending to bring about a better level of fiscal responsibility and sustainability.

As we prioritize our spending, I have worked to ensure that even during these times of reduced spending, we maintain the best investment we can in our public schools. Last week, I helped lead an effort that will allow for an increased investment of almost $120 million in our public schools over the next two years as compared to what was proposed by Gov. Scott Walker.

While I appreciate the leadership Gov. Walker has provided during this budget debate and have supported many of his initiatives, I believe the vast majority of 9th Senate District residents and citizens from across our state believe in supporting a quality, yet fiscally responsible public education system. The funding package that I helped move forward will continue to require substantial cost savings from our school districts, force fiscal responsibility, and require results.

The additional state funding will support efforts by local school boards to best manage their districts and will be aimed primarily at systems that have a record of fiscal frugality and respect for their taxpayers.

Budgets are about priorities. Without a doubt, my top priority remains to balance our budget without increasing the tax burden on the families or job creators of our state. At the end of our budget work, I believe we will eliminate the projected $3.6 billion deficit, reduce the debt load carried by the citizens of our state, basically freeze property taxes and balance our books without increasing taxes or fees. This will benefit the long-term economic vitality and sustainability of our state.

A quality public education system also benefits our state and our citizenry and I am proud that even during these challenging budget times support for our children’s education remains our top public investment.

As always, it has been a pleasure communicating with you. Please remember to communicate with me and share your input by calling 888-295-8750, writing to me at P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882, or by e-mailing me at Sen.Leibham@ legis. You can also logon to the 9th Senate District online office at

It is an honor to work for and represent the residents of the 9th District in the State Senate.

Readers Comments

Mr Leibham may have good
Submitted by (not verified) on Mon, 2011-06-06 17:36.
Mr Leibham may have good intentions, but he still is dead wrong.
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