School funding

To the Editor,

I just read that State Senate President Mike Ellis offered the outlines of an alternative to Gov. Scott Walker's school funding plan, one that would put nearly $400 million more toward schools over two years. The plan would be funded with a mix of state money and increased property taxes. Senator Ellis called the property tax increase slight, saying it would raise property taxes on a $150,000 house by $16.50 the first year and another $15 the second year. The plan has the backing of Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), the chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a member of the budget-writing joint Finance Committee. Ellis and Olsen said they expected support from other Republicans who control the Legislature because others have been seeking ways to add school funding to the governor's budget. I hope my legislators are among those Republicans seeking ways to add school funding to the budget.

I've written to my legislators and the Governor many times about the lost opportunities that have occurred because of the draconian cuts already made to education (preK-12/ UW/Technical Schools). I've observed lost opportunities with my own grandchildren. The Governor's budget continues the assault on our public schools...which includes more funding of voucher schools that are not held to the same accountability standards as public schools.

We need honest pragmatic leaders who can collaborate and find compromises on school funding so we stop jeopardizing the future of our next generation. We need leaders who will help us all to collectively deal with this issue and all the REAL issues facing this state. I continue to urge my legislators to be such leaders.

John Binder
Plymouth, WI

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