Election budget

To the Editor,

The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee (JFC) recently approved their budget proposal for school funding. The Assembly and Senate will soon consider that proposal and Governor Walker wants to sign a budget bill by September 22.

JFC’s preK-12 plan increases funding, $639.3 million, keeping Walker’s $200/$204 per pupil aid increases while addressing low revenue adjustments for schools like Plymouth.

Some JFC members call their plan “historic” and “generous.” I call it “partial restoration” of past unreasonable cuts! I also call it an “election year budget.” The Governor and many legislators are up for re-election in 2018!

Election year budgets should concern us. I remember an interview on Wisconsin Public TV (I have the video) with 2010 candidate Walker. He would not cut state aid to schools and would keep aid on track and intact!? When elected, he made the deepest cuts in public school funding in this state’s history!

Teacher shortages are occurring. Teacher education program enrollments are down. Veteran teachers are retiring early. Class sizes increase and more challenges are faced by teachers. Main streamed special needs students, along with their teachers, have seen support diminish because of inadequate special education funding.

Beginning and mid-career educators walk away for reasons other than retirement, according to a Learning Policy Institute report released August 16, 2017. It is titled, “Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It.”

The authors, Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond, found that reasons for leaving are lack of administrative support, low salaries, testing/accountability pressures, lack of advancement opportunities, and poor working conditions.

Parents…connect with teachers, administrators, and school board members to ensure that your children are getting the best education. Citizens…connect with our Governor and legislators to ensure that adequate state funding is restored so that students have the resources to experience a comprehensive education!

John Binder

Plymouth


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