Governor Walker campaigned on creating 250,000 jobs for Wisconsin during his first term. He got his Budget Repair bill passed. While it is still being fought in the courts he is gearing up for his next battle. The bill will make it through the courts and will cut costs as public employee unions can no longer collectively bargain for anything but wages.
As part of his proposed budget Walker has proposed $1.5 billion in aid cuts to public schools. Walker has said the cuts can be paid for by changes to employee benefits
Democrats cry we are hurting the children. Spending more on education does not guarantee better outcomes. A report by the National Center for Policy Analysis:
- The United States spends more on education than any country in the world with the exception of Switzerland. We spend an average of $91,700 per student in the nine years between age 6 and 15.
- We don’t get the results we pay for: We one third more than Finland, but Finland ranks near the top in math and science.
- Spending has increased at the federal level by $1.8 trillion dollars in the last 40 years.
- We spent an average of $149,000 in 2009 on the education of the average high school senior, compared to $50,000 in 1950.
- Over that time there has been no increase in performance.
- The U.S ranks near the bottom of achievement in math, science and reading.
In Wisconsin the Kenosha school district has some of the worst scores for reading in the country. We are not preparing our students to be successful in today’s job market.
The new budgets will force districts to react. They can make changes to benefits to reduce costs. This could put teachers on the state health care plan saving millions. Instead district after district is running though contracts. This will force layoffs when the budget passes. Schools will also not be able to raise property taxes since Walker is asking for a reduction of $550 per pupil in property taxes.
Walker has proposed changes that will help parents interested in educating their children. He is proposing an expansion of the Choice program. This will allow more parents to get their children out of failing public schools and into Charter or private schools. These school also save costs because they are given less to educate students by the taxpayers than paid to public schools. This will not only save money. Choice and Charter schools have achieved as a whole better results. Don’t parents deserve the chance to get a good education for their children? Why are democrats standing in the school house door keeping poor children from a good education? Expanding the Choice program will give students the chance they need to be educated for the jobs of the future. We need to reduce the cost of government if we are going to create more jobs. Walker will need these changes if he is going to reach is goal of creating 250,000 jobs. We cannot afford to spend $100K per teacher in Milwaukee and keep getting the same results. Why are alternative schools get better results and spend less money? Perhaps we are spending the money in the wrong place. Spending money on lavish benefits for teacher has not gotten the people of Wisconsin well educated students. It is time we look to spend our tax money in new places and in new ways. Cutting aid to schools makes sense if we are going to spend our money on schools getting better results. We owe it to the students of Wisconsin and their families.