Gov. Walker Needs to Go Back to School on Education Policy

Demonstrably Detrimental Policies on Public Education Earn Him an “F”

MADISON, Wis. — As students across Wisconsin head back to school, it’s Gov. Scott Walker who needs to be educated about the impact of his wrong-headed education policies, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Under Walker and his education policies, Wisconsin has had lagging job growth and rates of wage increases that trail neighboring states, earning him a failing grade.

“Gov. Walker has shown utter contempt for public education in office — attacking teachers, cutting public schools more per student than any other governor in the nation, slashing record amounts from technical schools and hiking college tuition by double digits,” said Ross. “He needs to go back to school to understand how wrong he’s been and how important great public schools, technical colleges and universities are to our success.”

Among the strikes against Gov. Walker on his permanent record on education are:

  • Enacting the largest cuts to public education in state history as part of his 2011 state budget. In addition to slashing over $400 million from the University of Wisconsin and cutting state general fund technical college support by 30%, his K-12 education cuts were the largest per student in the nation.
  • Aggressively pursuing school privatization by expanding the unaccountable private school voucher program statewide and signing into law a tax giveaway that would allow millionaires to take a tax deduction of up to $10,000 for sending their children to elite private schools.
  • Launching a divisive attack on the workplace rights of public school teachers and other public employees almost immediately upon taking office.
  • Making access to higher education and job training more difficult for Wisconsin families with policies like hiking UW tuition by 11 percent, cutting state financial aid and refusing to support common sense relief from the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis like allowing borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.

The results of Gov. Walker’s undermining of public education, the key to a strong economy and a vibrant middle class, has been demonstrably detrimental to the state. Jobs figures show Wisconsin is last in the Midwest and has lagged behind the national average for job growth under Gov. Walker. Wages have also suffered with Wisconsin having the worst rates of wage increases in the Midwest over his term.

New revenue collection numbers released just this week also show Gov. Walker’s budget is in deficit by over $100 million.

Ross concluded, “Regressive and wrong-headed education policies have translated into lagging job growth, lower rates of wage increases than our neighbors, less access to higher education and job training and budget deficits. That all adds up to a failing grade for Gov. Walker.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.