wooden school desk with apple

Scott Walker’s Record on K-12 Education

Gov. Scott Walker’s Education Policies Would Earn Him an F Grade From Anyone Concerned With Quality Public Education

Gov. Scott Walker’s education policies would earn him an F grade from anyone concerned with quality public education. In his first budget, Walker enacted the largest per student K-12 education cuts in the nation. He has also aggressively pursued privatization, pushing more money towards unaccountable taxpayer funded voucher schools while cutting money from Wisconsin’s public schools.

Of the students attending voucher schools through a limited statewide expansion of vouchers in the 2013 budget, roughly 75 percent were already attending private schools without a taxpayer-funded voucher. Walker’s 2015 budget proposed removing any cap on vouchers, allowing unlimited statewide expansion of unaccountable voucher schools.

Walker has close ties to voucher advocates, snagging nearly $2 million in gubernatorial campaign contributions from voucher backers since 2008. In addition, Walker’s campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe, heads the Bradley Foundation, which has funded a $31 million-plus propaganda campaign in support of education privatization in Wisconsin.

S is for Shill

This report exposes the web of right-wing funders advancing a radical school privatization agenda through the use of Wisconsin-based front groups, with special focus on the Bradley Foundation, headed by Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe.

[One Wisconsin Institute, 11/13/2013]

D is for Dismantle

There is a long-held belief among many conservatives that public schools are simply not an appropriate role of government and should be privatized through the use of vouchers. One of the staunchest supporters of this extreme view is Gov. Scott Walker.

[One Wisconsin Institute, 12/20/2011]

State Payments Per Pupil for Private School Vouchers Set to Exceed Public Schools

 Under Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led legislature, less accountable private voucher schools have reaped a financial windfall both in the amount of state tax dollars they receive and the number of students for which they are paid state tax dollars. As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, all across Wisconsin public schools are now feeling financial pressure as the voucher program drains resources from them, and new data shows per pupil state revenue payments for vouchers are on average poised to exceed those for public schools.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/23/2017]

Scott Walker, Lowell Holtz and John Humphries Standing by Betsy DeVos

The nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is teetering on the brink of rejection by the U.S. Senate with bipartisan opposition to her confirmation building after a disastrous confirmation hearing and new allegations she plagiarized parts of her written answers to questions submitted by members of the committee weighing her nomination. Yet Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction hopefuls John Humphries and Lowell Holtz, all of whom have or are hoping to benefit from the financial largesse of the Michigan billionaire private school voucher backer, continue to stand by their woman.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/01/2017]

Walker Denies Legal Counsel to Agency Sued by His Campaign Chair’s Legal Fund

Madison, Wis. — According to a report in today’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Scott Walker is denying the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s request for legal representation in a school privatization case brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL). Public files reviewed by One Wisconsin Now show between 2011 and 2015, WILL received an astonishing $3.78 million from the Bradley Foundation, which is run by Walker’s campaign chair Michael Grebe.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/16/2016]

One Billion Dollars in Cuts to K-12 Public Schools ... And Counting

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature have cut over $1 billion from K-12 public schools since taking office and, by the end of the current budget cycle, will have doled out in excess of $1 billion in taxpayer dollars through the private school voucher program to unaccountable private and religious schools. Now, in the final days of the legislative session, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is pushing to get his way with a last minute amendment that adds over $22 million more to the cuts to public schools as part of the voucher school funding scheme.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/10/2016]

Report: Property taxes, rates drop in southeastern Wisconsin

Scot Ross, of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said: "Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature have given property taxpayers pennies today while putting our technical colleges at grave risk tomorrow. "Republicans have repeatedly cut general fund support to K-12 schools and the UW System to pay for tax breaks disproportionately benefiting the wealthy and corporations, and now technical colleges must rely on this same increasingly unstable funding source for a dramatically larger share of their operating funds." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/03/2015]

Voucher Program a Billion Dollar Boondoggle Under Walker, GOP Legislature

A new analysis from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau finds that under Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature, Wisconsin taxpayers will have to foot a $1.18 billion plus tab for the private school voucher program by the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year. In addition, the state treasury will take a $30 million per year hit from a no top income limit tax giveaway to parents already sending their kids to private schools.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/01/2015]

Gov. Scott Walker’s Education Speech Debacle

The bumbling run of Gov. Scott Walker for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination stumbled on yesterday with a speech on education in New Hampshire. In his address the Wisconsin governor, who made the largest cuts to public education in state history, floated a name for a potential cabinet secretary pick for an agency he declared he would eliminate and used a story of a Wisconsin public school teacher who has repeatedly asked him to stop mentioning her in his stump speeches.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/20/2015]

Walker scores big with Koch brothers, other wealthy donors in informal poll

Liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, which opposes school vouchers, described the makeup of the task force as being “packed” with voucher supporters, executive director Scot Ross said in a statement. The group pointed to $20,000 in campaign contributions that went to the GOP members of the committee from pro-voucher groups. [Wisconsin State Journal, 08/08/2015]

A valuable lesson in Gov. Scott Walker’s education record

Wisconsin is 35th in the nation in job creation, dead last in the Midwest, and our middle class is shrinking. Wisconsin is divided as never before and in desperate search for leadership that brings us back together. Walker though, has put his personal, political ambitions before his responsibility to us, and has been crisscrossing the country preparing his presidential run instead of doing his job as governor. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 06/19/2015]

Will Walker Sign Measure Allowing Dropouts to Teach?

According to education experts, an amendment to the 2015 state budget adopted by the Republican controlled Joint Committee on Finance in the middle of the night would eliminate almost all standards, including having graduated from high school, for teachers. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the provision as emblematic of the GOP contempt for teachers and public education and called on Gov. Scott Walker to veto the provision if it remains in the budget.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/28/2015]

Walker Travels to New Orleans to Pander to Private School Voucher Backers

In his continuing travels in pursuit of his personal political ambitions, Gov. Scott Walker today visits New Orleans, Louisiana to address the private school voucher industry front group, American Federation for Children. Back home in Wisconsin it’s “let the good times roll” for the unaccountable voucher program as Republican politicians consider Walker’s scheme for further statewide expansion of taxpayer support for private schools while public schools may, at best, see their funding not cut.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/18/2015]

The Foundations of Scott Walker's Agenda: Bradley and Koch

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker touts himself as purveyor of big, bold ideas for the public good in his pursuit of the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker has instead advanced his own political career by pledging allegiance on pet issues for major right-wing funders the Bradley Foundation, run by his gubernatorial campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, and the Koch family foundations of notorious right-wing billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/15/2015]

25 Years of School Privatization, 25 Years of Failure

Out-of-state backers of the failed 25-year school privatization racket will be descending upon Madison today for what will likely be among many events designed to “commemorate” the quarter-century failed school privatization experiment in Wisconsin. The event is being hosted by the Federalist Society with a featured speaker from the Goldwater Institute, both of which have received huge financial support from the pro-privatization Bradley Foundation, which is headed by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/28/2015]

Walker’s 2015 executive budget proposed cutting $127 million from public schools

Wisconsin school districts are scrambling to revise their budget estimates after Gov. Scott Walker's biennial state budget proposed effectively cutting $127 million in education aid next year. Milwaukee Public Schools is facing a loss of at least $12 million next year as a result of that move, but plenty of well-to-do suburban districts — in areas that are overwhelmingly supportive of the governor politically — are acknowledging gaping budget holes, as well. The aid removal "definitely compounds the already massive fiscal challenges that Cedarburg and most other districts are already facing for next year," Cedarburg Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson said. The Ozaukee County district would lose about $430,000 next year if the proposal passes. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/16/2015]

Arena plan prompts different reactions from area groups

Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a liberal group, said his organization had "serious questions about the priorities of Gov. Walker when in his budget plan he proposes spending what we now know to be nearly $400 million of our tax dollars on a sports arena while cutting $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System, slashing $150 million from K-12 public schools and postponing paying over $100 million in state bills that have come due." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/20/2015]

Private School Voucher Industry Keeps Giving Big Campaign Cash

According to the latest round of campaign finance filings, individuals associated with the private school voucher industry kept busy filling the campaign coffers of Gov. Walker and others, even after Election Day. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross their donations are already paying off handsomely in the 2015 legislative session.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/19/2015]

Walker calls for elimination of for-profit college watchdog agency

A proposal in Gov. Scott Walker’s two-year budget would likely make Wisconsin the only state without oversight of for-profit colleges, at a time when many others are ramping up their level of supervision over colleges that face heavy scrutiny throughout the nation. “I don’t know of any other state that would not have some kind of vetting of for-profit institutions,” said David Dies, director of Wisconsin’s Educational Approval Board. [Capital Times, 02/16/2015]

In Walker’s 2015 budget, he proposed lifting the caps put in place in the 2013 expansion, expanding...

An unlimited number of Wisconsin students could use taxpayer dollars to attend private schools in the statewide voucher program, under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed two-year budget. Walker would also start paying for the program with money that otherwise would go to public schools. In addition to eliminating the 1,000-student cap in the statewide voucher program, Walker’s proposed 2015-17 budget would create a new statewide board to authorize new charter schools. “Unfortunately, this budget proposal clearly prioritizes private school vouchers, the authorization of independent charters and politics over real support for public schools and our students,” Madison School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in a statement. [Wisconsin State Journal, 02/04/2015]

Walker proposed $300 million cut to UW system in his 2015 budget.

`State lawmakers responded mostly along party lines to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to cut funding to the University of Wisconsin System by 13 percent over the next two years. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Walker will propose turning the 13 four-year campuses and 13 two-year colleges of the UW System into a public authority, giving the university more flexibility over a wide array of matters that are now mandated by state law.The UW System had requested $95 million from the 2015-17 budget, a request based largely on the financial impact of a second proposed tuition freeze. The governor will still move forward with the freeze, but the $300 million cut comes with more flexibility and autonomy for the university. [...] UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the Wisconsin State Journal that she expects layoffs "at every school and college." "To get through the demanding times ahead, we know that we will be called on to make challenging and difficult decisions. It won’t be easy. Taking a longer view, our new relationship with the state will allow us to leverage the System’s great resources, talent, and ideas to even better serve the people and economy of Wisconsin," said UW System president Ray Cross in a statement.

[Capital Times, 01/28/2015]

Reaction to Walker’s State of State speech

“We see Wisconsin as a state in need of improvement,” said Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. “Our schools and workforce are among the best in the nation. But the facts show Scott Walker has failed to deliver, leaving us with lagging job growth and stagnant wages.” [Associated Press, 01/15/2015]

GOP Legislature Starts 2015 Payoff to School Privatization Industry

Wisconsin legislative Republicans are promising legislation to regulate the private school voucher program that is slated to rake in over $212 million from state taxpayers in the current school year. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted massive campaign spending by voucher special interests and evidence voucher lobbyists were intimately involved in drafting legislation last session raises red flags about who is behind the GOP’s latest proposal.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/07/2015]

Walker budget would eliminate Special Transfer Program

Currently, under the Special Transfer Program (commonly known as Chapter 220), the state provides aid to school districts to support voluntary efforts by school districts to reduce racial imbalance. Aid is provided for both interdistrict and intradistrict pupil transfers. This bill closes the Special Transfer Program to new pupils. Under the bill, however, any pupil who attended a school under the program in the 2014−15 school year may continue to participate in the program. [2015 SB 21, 01/01/2015]

‘Right-to-Work’ Backer Cites Bradley Foundation-Funded Junk Science

A Republican state legislator who says he will introduce a controversial, so-called “right-to-work” bill is basing his case in part on statistics produced by a right-wing group that receives significant support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the source for statistics being cited by the presumptive bill author, has raked in nearly $500,000 over the last decade from the Bradley Foundation.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/04/2014]

State Government The GOP Way: Those Who Give, Get...

Less than twenty-four hours after the polls closed in the November 4 general election, Assembly GOP Speaker Robin Vos and Gov. Scott Walker called for a dramatically expanded private school voucher program in Wisconsin, financed with public tax dollars. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, a news report revealing the pro-voucher group spent nearly $1 million in the fall campaigns and $4.5 million in Wisconsin since 2010 shows why it’s no coincidence that an expansion of the unaccountable taxpayer financed voucher program is on the short list of GOP legislative priorities.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/17/2014]

GOP Leaves Borrowers Out in the Cold

In announcing an agenda that includes an even more expansive, unaccountable public-funded private school voucher program and targets poor people for drug tests, Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans have left the nearly one million Wisconsin student loan borrowers out in the cold. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that brand new national research shows that Wisconsin, with 70 percent of 2013 graduates having student loan debt, now ranks fourth highest in the nation for percentage of graduates with debt.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/13/2014]

One Wisconsin Now slams Scott Walker’s tech school tour

Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now questions Governor Scott Walker’s motive as the Republican tours five of the state’s 16 technical colleges just two days after being elected to a second term. “He’s using technical colleges as a photo-op as he prepares to make another run for higher office and it’s a sad indictment on Governor Walker’s priorities,” Ross says, “because technical colleges help Wisconsin’s economy grow.” [Wisconsin Radio Network, 11/09/2014]

Party Line Marklein Tows the Education Privatization Line

 A recent news report reveals $139 million in state tax dollars went to private schools in Milwaukee kicked out of the school voucher program, supported by Rep. Howard Marklein, for failing to meet basic standards for things like student safety and financial transparency. Yet as State Representative, Marklein voted to cut state aid for K-12 public schools in the 17th Senate District by over $25 million.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/14/2014]

A Guide to Gov. Walker's Education Policy

 While studies of the voucher program have failed to demonstrate higher achievement for students, pandering to the voucher industry has been lucrative for career politician Scott Walker’s campaign account. According to One Wisconsin Now executive Director Scot Ross that may account for Gov. Walker’s call yesterday to further expand the unaccountable private school voucher program.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/04/2014]

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

 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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/29/2014]

Wealthy Private School Voucher Boosters Fill GOP Politicians' Campaign Coffers

An analysis of recently filed campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now has found supporters of private school vouchers from across the country are dropping big donations on Wisconsin politicians in recent months, including over $113,000 to Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. In total, voucher supporters pumped over $175,000 plus into Republican politician’s campaign coffers in just the first six months of 2014.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/18/2014]

Where There's a WILL, There's a Way... to Promote Walker's Best Interests

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is not simply a conservative, public interest law firm. It is a virtual extension of the political apparatus surrounding Gov. Scott Walker, engaging in ‘issue litigation’ to advance and protect his interests.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/11/2014]

Is He Still Doing It?

 While Gov. Walker refuses to answer if he continues to direct a scheme to avoid Wisconsin campaign laws described as “criminal” by a Republican prosecutor, perhaps others know the answer. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Walker’s campaign co-chair, the right-wing mega-funder Bradley Foundation’s chief Michael Grebe, might have the answer.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/25/2014]

$83 Million Propaganda and Privatization Web Spun by Right-Wing Funders

 “S is For Shill,” a new report from One Wisconsin Now, in association with the ProgressNow network and the Center for Media and Democracy, exposes a web of right-wing funders advancing a radical privatization agenda through the use of Wisconsin-based front groups. In addition to support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, innocuously named groups like the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) and the MacIver Institute are part of the larger State Policy Network (SPN), a right-wing, dark money funded pro-privatization propaganda effort.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/13/2013]

Latest Enrollment Stats Expose Private School Voucher Expansion Scam

 The state Department of Public Instruction today released official enrollment counts for students in the expanded private school voucher program. Nearly 80% of students participating in the program this year did not attend a Wisconsin public school last year, and over 73% of students now having their tuition and expenses paid by a taxpayer funded voucher were already attending a private school last year. The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding the data:

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/29/2013]

Latest Walker Tax Scheme Fails to Deliver for Wisconsin Homeowners

In an appearance in Wisconsin today, Gov. Walker unveiled a new tax scheme he claimed would help Wisconsin homeowners and called for passing a bill within the next ten days. But according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the average Wisconsin homeowner would save a mere $13, or $1.08 per month, in 2013. The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross on Gov. Walker's latest scheme:

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/10/2013]

One Wisconsin Now to Join 'Public Education Is a Civil Right' March, Rally

 One Wisconsin Now will join public education supporters from across the state at Saturday's 'Public Education Is a Civil Right' march and rally beginning at Milwaukee High School at 10:30 a.m. One Wisconsin Now research has shown that the systematic assault on our public schools owes much of its support to tens of millions of dollars given to pro-privatization propaganda by Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/17/2013]

Private School Voucher Scam

 The state Department of Public Instruction today released information on the number of new schools and students applying for the statewide expansion of the private school voucher program enacted by Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans in the 2013-15 state budget. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the statistics about where the students applying for the program previously attended school expose the voucher program as a scam on state taxpayers, orchestrated by well-funded education privatization forces.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/14/2013]

Bradley Foundation Dollars Continued to Fuel Right Wing Noise Machine in 2012

 According to documents reviewed by One Wisconsin Now, staples of the state right wing noise machine, and some new entrants, were once again beneficiaries of the largesse of Wisconsin's Money Badger, Michael Grebe, in 2012. Besides controlling the $620 million plus in reported assets of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, Grebe serves as co-chair of Gov. Walker's campaign.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/17/2013]

Under Walker’s New Tax Giveaway, Families Could Receive Up To $4,000 for Children in Kindergarten...

“Walker's signing of the budget comes in time for the new fiscal year, which begins Monday. The final version of the budget will: Tax cuts. Cut income taxes by $651 million over two years and provide $30 million a year in income tax savings for the parents of the nearly 100,000 private school students in Wisconsin. Families could receive an income tax deduction of up to $4,000 for private school tuition paid for each kindergarten through eighth-grade student and up to $10,000 per high school student.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 06/30/2013]

#WalkerAt20: Walker’s Education Agenda a Formula for Failure

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Under Gov. Walker no area has more directly felt the impact of his formula for failure than public education, and the 2013 budget, set to be debated by the Senate and Assembly this week, continues the trend.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/17/2013]

#WalkerAt20: Bradley Foundation Errand Boy

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Today, we look at the right-wing machine behind the man, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker's campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/12/2013]

Wisconsin Working Families and Middle Class Lose Big as Top GOP Legislative Leaders Flip-Flop Way to Budget...

In his 2010 campaign, Gov. Walker signaled support for a bill to ban the legislature from voting after 10pm because, “… nothing good happens after midnight. That's even more true in politics.” According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross it's too bad for the middle class and working families of Wisconsin that top legislative Republicans didn't take their Governor's advice. Instead, they signed-off on a two year budget deal in the middle of the night that includes a flat-tax scheme that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy and a statewide expansion of the unaccountable private school voucher program.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/04/2013]

One Wisconsin Now Travels to Iowa to Share Walker “Resume of Failure”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is traveling to Iowa today to address a gathering of Republican Party activists in another of an increasing number out-of-state sojourns as he ponders a bid for national office. Also making the trip is One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, along with copies of the Walker “Resume of Failure.”

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/22/2013]

Walker Campaign Co-Chair's Foundation Funds Group Suing MATC

The just-filed lawsuit by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) over a contract signed by the Milwaukee Area Technical College comes thanks to Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, the CEO of the Bradley Foundation, which has contributed $500,000 to WILL. The lawsuit seeks to undo a contract that will save taxpayers $14 million in its first year and nearly $150 million in the future.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/01/2013]

Prelude to a Raid?

The latest round of right-wing University of Wisconsin System bashing, this time over an annual report indicating the system has surpluses in several accounts, could be more bad news for students, their families and Wisconsin's economy according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/21/2013]

Gov. Scott Walker's Budget: Privatization Devastating Public Schools

An analysis of Gov. Walker's 2013-15 budget plan reveals a massive increase in the percentage of state taxpayer dollars going to the unaccountable private school voucher program. Meanwhile, state support for K-12 public schools is essentially held flat, even after record budget cuts in the last budget.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/10/2013]

Walker’s 2013 budget proposed expanding vouchers throughout the state

Under Walker's proposal, districts would be opened up to voucher programs if they have at least 4,000 students and two school buildings receiving a grade of "fails to meet expectations" or "meets few expectations" on state report cards...Walker's budget plan would set the criteria for bringing school districts into the voucher system, rather than naming specific districts that would get the program. That means in future years other districts could be added to the program. Wisconsin has 42 districts with at least 4,000 students, but only nine have at least two schools with a failing grade. They are Beloit, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Sheboygan, Superior, Waukesha, and West Allis-West Milwaukee. The expansion would start small. This fall, just 500 students around the state could attend private schools at taxpayer expense outside of Milwaukee and eastern Racine County. That would increase to 1,000 the next year, and there would be no cap after that.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/18/2013]

Walker’s 2013-15 Budget Measures Undermine Public Education

The 2013-15 budget included measures that:
  • Continue the public education deficit created in the 2011-13 budget;
  • Expand the private school voucher program and increase its funding by $90 million;
  • Create an income tax deduction for private school tuition of up to $10,000, at a cost of $30 million per year; and
  • Eliminate funding for the Farm to School program
[2013 Assembly Bill 40, 01/01/2013]

Walker’s 2013-15 Budget Played Politics & Middle Class Loses

As a result of the budget:
  • Due to the Republican plan to reject Medicaid expansion, taxpayers will pay $206 million more to provide healthcare to 84,700 fewer people
  • Instead of using a balanced approach, this budget takes a surplus built on record cuts to public schools and goes into future deficit in order to give a tax cut targeted toward the wealthiest people
  • Rolling back consumer protections to favor predatory payday loan shops, cable companies & makers of lead paint
[2013 Assembly Bill 40, 01/01/2013]

Walker’s Budget Did Not Include Income Limitation on Claimants of Tuition Tax Break

“Create a deduction from the individual income tax for amounts paid for tuition to a private school, beginning in tax year 2014. Limit the deduction to tuition expenses of up to $4,000 per year per pupil enrolled in kindergarten through grade eight and $10,000 per year per pupil enrolled in grades nine through twelve. Define claimant as an individual who claims a pupil as a dependent for federal income tax purposes on his or her tax return; define pupil as an individual who is enrolled in kindergarten or grades one to twelve and who is a dependent of the claimant for federal income tax purposes; and define tuition as any amount paid by a claimant, in the year to which the claim relates, for a pupil's tuition to attend a private school, as defined under current law, that meets all the criteria for a private school, as enumerated under current law.”

[Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 01/01/2013]

In Response to Mass Shooting, Walker Said Arming School Officials Should Be ‘Part of the Discussion,’...

In the wake of the country's latest mass shooting, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that more should be done to help mentally troubled individuals and that arming school officials should be "part of the discussion." Walker called for a summit involving top mental health professionals from around the state early next year...And Walker said that he would not rule out allowing school employees with firearms training to carry guns to fight back against armed intruders.

[Wisconsin State Journal, 12/20/2012]

Money Badger's Paw Prints Uncovered In Attack on Worker Rights in Michigan

Wisconsin's 'Money Badger', Michael Grebe, appears to have his paws in the attack on worker rights in Michigan according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Grebe, who runs the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, has doled out nearly $2 million to three organizations taking leading roles in promoting the attack on worker rights launched by Michigan Republicans in a lame duck session of their state legislature.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/06/2012]

Will 'Money Badger' Back Walker's Presidential Super PAC Cash Quest?

Recent media reports on prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidates' money chase included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on a list of suitors seeking an audience with GOP mega-donor and Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker may already have found his Super-PAC sugar daddy, the Wisconsin 'Money Badger', Michael Grebe of the Bradley Foundation.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/05/2012]

In recall, union group says Walker cut school funding to give tax breaks

Critics of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have condemned his funding cuts to schools and tax breaks for businesses and wealthier individuals… We rated Half True a claim by the liberal One Wisconsin Now group that tax breaks approved for corporations and the rich would cost taxpayers $2.3 billion over a decade. The changes aren’t a cost to taxpayers in the normal sense, because the tax breaks mean less will be paid in taxes.

[PolitiFact, 05/24/2012]

Gov. Walker’s Cross Country Cash Grab Takes Off As Wisconsin Economy Crashes and Burns

Under Gov. Walker, Wisconsin’s economy has tanked, ranking dead last in the nation for job creation and suffering the ignominy of being the only state in the nation with statistically significant job losses over the last year. Meanwhile, Gov. Walker’s cross country cash grab has been a stunning success, netting two-thirds of the $13 million raised from out-of-state contributors, according to One Wisconsin Now’s analysis of his latest campaign finance report filed today.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/29/2012]

Walker signed the repeal of the Healthy Youth Act along with several anti-women bills

“Gov. Scott Walker signed four bills relating to women’s reproductive health and pay equality without the usual public fanfare last Thursday, a move that came under fire from Democrats and advocacy groups. Walker signed the four bills into law on Thursday and announced their signing, along with 47 other bills, in a statement released the following day. The first three bills relate to abortions in the state, and the fourth relates to women’s health issues, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. One piece of legislation repeals Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act.”

[Badger Herald, 04/09/2012]

'Lie of Year' Award Winner in Madison to Address Corporate CEOs

2010 Politifact “Lie of the Year” award winner, GOP pollster Frank Luntz, addressed a gathering of CEOs sponsored by the state’s big business lobby today in Madison. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne said Luntz will have his work cut out for him trying to boost Gov. Scott Walker’s record of job losses and policies that cut education and health care while doling out tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/15/2012]

GOP Stalls Voucher Loophole Fix, Proposed Accountability Standards as Their Campaign Coffers Fill With Cash

Campaign finance records show private school voucher advocates have showered Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP with over $507,000 in campaign contributions in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile proposed accountability standards that would include voucher schools are on hold and a bill to close a loophole that could allow statewide expansion of the private voucher program is stalled in the GOP controlled Assembly.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/14/2012]

Scott Walker’s Rhetoric Versus Reality

Governor Scott Walker failed to tackle Wisconsin’s jobs crisis - posting six straight months of job losses here while nationally jobs are being added - and is now poised to take on “the truth” in his second State of the State address.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/24/2012]

UW System Responds to Additional Budget Cuts

Reilly sent a letter to the DOA on Dec. 14 outlining how the UW System plans to deal with a budget lapse - or additional reduction in state aid - of at least $65.7 million or more than 37 percent of a 174.3 million cut across all state agencies that was imposed in the 2011-13 biennium by Secretary Mike Huebsch in mid-October. In the memo addressed to state budget director Brian Hayes, Reilly proposes a "compromise" lapse amount and warns that the disproportionate hit delegated to the UW System will reduce funding for faculty and instructor positions, which means fewer class sections, decrease in academic advising and larger class sizes, "creating a bottleneck in the education pipeline."

[Capital Times, 12/21/2011]

One Wisconsin Institute Report: 'D is for Dismantle'

A comprehensive analysis entitled “D is for Dismantle,” authored by the non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute shows that despite claims from Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin schools are not failing, instead his budget cuts and disastrous education policies endanger our proud tradition of excellent schools. The report from One Wisconsin Institute, the education and research partner of One Wisconsin Now, includes research that contradicts Gov. Walker's assertions about public schools and students not performing at the highest levels.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/19/2011]

Rolled back class size reduction program; allows teachers to be evaluated on standardized test scores

On December 17, 2011, Walker signed a bill into law that rolled back a major provision of the popular class size reduction program, Student Achievement Guarantee in Education Program, which established class sizes of 18 or under in grades K-3. This bill allows school districts to opt out of class size reductions in grades 2 and 3. Prior law required participation in K-3 to receive SAGE funding. Additionally, Act 105 allows school districts to use value-added analysis of standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. Though it cannot be the sole reason used to fire, suspend or discipline a teacher, the bill allows school districts to place greater weight on the test scores in evaluating a teacher’s job performance. Prior law prohibited the use of standardized test results to fire, suspend or discipline a teacher. (2011 SB 95, introduced 5/13/2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)

[2011 WI Act 105, 12/07/2011]

Walker Allowed University of Wisconsin to raise tuition by 5.5% annually; Cut $250 million from System

2011 WI Act 32: On June 26, 2011, Walker signed the budget into law, which allowed the UW System to increase tuition 5.5% annually, over $107 million over the biennium. The tuition increase was allowed in part due to the $250 million in cuts made to the general program operations for the UW System by Walker and the GOP controlled legislature. (2011 Assembly Bill 40; Legislative Fiscal Bureau, June 13, 2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call; 2011 WI Act 32, signed into law 6/26/2011; 2011 WI Act 32 Comparative Budget Summary, University of Wisconsin System, page 749, #3) [2011 WI Act 32, 11/09/2011]

Walker signed repeal of comprehensive sex education requirement, known as the Healthy Youth Act.

Schools in Wisconsin that teach sex education would be required to promote abstinence and marriage under a bill passed by the state Senate Wednesday night on a party-line vote. The controversial Republican-backed legislation would dismantle a new state law passed by Democrats last year, which requires schools that offer sex education to include information about contraceptives. The new measure wouldn't ban teaching about contraception, but it would require schools offering sex ed to stress abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/03/2011]

UW Chancellors: Higher education cuts unfair

UW-Stout and UW Eau Claire Chancellors contend the state's latest round of budget cuts would unfairly burden Wisconsin's four-year universities...The UW System comprises only 7 percent of the state budget and will get 38 percent of the cut for at least 174.3 million included in the 2011-2013 state budget. They will also include $65.6 million in cutbacks to UW System schools on top of previous state aid reductions also in the budget.

[Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 10/26/2011]

Students Must Open Wallets a Bit More

Students who attend the 26 campuses of the University of Wisconsin System and the state’s 13 liberal arts campuses will pay hundreds more in tuition this fall - ranging from $235 more a year at UW Colleges to $659 more a year at UW-Madison after the UW Board of Regents approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase for the 180,000 in-state students at a meeting Thursday.

[Wisconsin State Journal, 07/15/2011]

Walker gets ‘Pants on Fire’ rating after raising college tuition (major fee increase)

Politi-Fact gave the Governor a “Pants on Fire Rating” after he promised he would pass a budget without fee increases yet the Legislative Fiscal Bureau had determined the budget would raise nine fees over two years by $133 million and reduce eight other fees by $22 million; a net increase in fees of $111 million. Some of the major fee increases include: College tuition, $107 million. Lender fees: Licensed lenders would have to pay a new $5,000 annual fee in order to make motor vehicle title loans, raising $500,000 over two years. Driver's license tests, $634,600 over two years. Background checks, an additional $580,000 in fees. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/01/2011]

Walker Reduced Immigrants’ Access to Education

Youth who are the children of undocumented immigrants are no longer allowed to pay the resident tuition rate to attend the UW System or a technical college. They had the right to pay resident tuition, if they are graduates of a Wisconsin high school, have lived in the state for at least three years and have proof they are applying for a visa to be eligible for resident rates. The right to pay at the resident level tuition rate does not cost the state anything, so this change is simply mean spirited and makes it impossible for these youth to afford a higher education. (For example: the 2011-12 resident tuition at UW-Madison is $9,490; the non-resident tuition is $25,240). (2011 Assembly Bill 40, inroduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker cut over $71 million from Tech College System

In the 2011-13 budget, Walker slashed over $71.6 million in state aid from the technical college system, a 30% reduction, and capped tech college’s ability to raise additional funds through property tax increases. (Legislative Fiscal Bureau Comparative budget summary, Technical College System, #4; 2011 Assembly Bill 40; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker Cut School Funding by $1.6 Billion

Walker signed into law the 2011-13 budget, which cut school aids by approximately $800 million and reduced the revenue limit per pupil by 5.5% in fiscal year 2012. The Department of Public Instruction put the total combined cuts at $1.6 billion over the 2011-13 biennium as compared to previous statute. This is the first decrease ever in revenue caps. (Department of Public Instruction WASDA Survey Summary; Legislative Fiscal Bureau Memo, “2011-13 Comparative Summary of Budget Recommendations,” June 2011; 2011 Assembly Bill 40; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker’s first budget slashed funding for education by nearly $2 billion

Headline: Wis. Gov. signs budget cutting education $1.85B. “Democrats assailed the budget as an attack on middle class values since it cuts funding for public schools by $800 million, reduces funding to the UW system by $250 million and cuts tax credits for poor people. It also reduces the amount schools can collect from property taxes and other revenue combined, which translates into another education cut of about $800 million. While schools are seeing deep cuts, Walker's budget extends tax breaks to manufacturers, multistate corporations and investors.”

[CBS News, 06/26/2011]

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Walker Signing Surrender to Wall Street, Corporations

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s planned signing of the 2011-13 Wisconsin state budget on Sunday. Walker’s budget includes tax breaks for corporations and the rich that will cost the state of Wisconsin taxpayers $2.3 billion over the next decade. At the same time, they are raising taxes on the working poor by $70 million, dismantling public education by $1.6 billion and slashing the University of Wisconsin by $250 million.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/23/2011]

Walker’s first budget included deep cuts, tuition hikes for UW System

In March, UW-Eau Claire expected a $5.1 million cut based on Walker's budget proposal, but that went up to $6.3 million with the version approved this week by the state Legislature. UW-Stout’s university's spokesman, Doug Mell, said the $3.85 million cut estimated for UW-Stout based on earlier budgets would go above $4 million under the Legislature-approved one...The Legislature also is allowing a tuition increase of up to 5.5 percent, which will soften the blow of cuts to institutions, but not offset the entire amount. At UW-Eau Claire, Rindo said an additional 5.5 percent in tuition revenue would bring $3.4 million to the university, a little more than half the cut in state support. The state contributed 64 percent of funding for instructional expenses in the 2000-01 school year, he said. The newest budget funds 44 percent of the university's instructional costs, with tuition picking up the rest. "We're now, for instruction, more tuition-based than state-based," Rindo said.

[Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 06/18/2011]

State Capitol ‘Run Against Walker’ to Focus on Walker, GOP Attacks on Health Care, Middle Class...

Massive attacks against health care, education and middle class priorities launched by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majority are the focus of a “Run Against Walker,” scheduled at the State Capitol today. The “Run Against Walker,” a run/walk for citizens organized by One Wisconsin Now as part of the “Walkerville” activities on the State Capitol Square, will accommodate both runners and walkers who are united against Walker’s attacks on the middle class.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/06/2011]

Walker’s proposal to break off UW-Madison dead

Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to break off the Madison campus from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System is dead after a lack of support for the split… The two ongoing topics of debate are what freedoms will be granted to the campuses and how will they be implemented, and how will the governor's proposed $250 million cut be spread out. Madison would have taken half of it, or $125 million. Biddy Martin, UW Chancellor, who supported Walker's plan, said the campus needed the autonomy he was proposing in order to deal with that cut. [Associated Press, 05/27/2011]

The Truth About The Wisconsin Budget

A comprehensive analysis authored by the non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute shows that despite claims from Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin is not “broke.” The Institute's research contradicts Gov. Walker's assertion, pointing out Wisconsin's Gross Domestic Product has steadily rose the past twenty years and Wisconsin has plenty of overall wealth - but this wealth has shifted to those at the top of the income ladder, while Wisconsin's tax structure is built around the middle class.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/14/2011]

Walker Returns $50,000 in Jack Links’-Related Contributions with $75,000 in Taxpayer Dollars

Gov. Scott Walker has announced a $75,000 taxpayer-financed grant to a company, who along with its Chief Executive Officer, donated nearly $50,000 in 2010 to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker governor, according to a figures obtained from the Internal Revenue Service by One Wisconsin Now. Walker announced the taxpayer-financed grant to the company, Jack Links, Tuesday in a press release.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/04/2011]

Nearly 16,000 Wisconsinites Demand End to Walker Education Cuts

The names of nearly 16,000 Wisconsinites who have signed One Wisconsin Now’s online petition in just over the last week demanding an end to Gov. Scott Walker’s unprecedented attack on public education were deliver today to the Governor and leaders of the state Joint Finance Committee. JFC has a scheduling hearing today to discuss Walker’s plans to cut of $834 million from public education, skyrocket tuition for students in Wisconsin and dismantle the technical college system — all to pay for unprecedented tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/29/2011]

Walker Education Scheme: Close Middle Class Toolbox, Reward Corporate Class

Gov. Scott Walker’s unprecedented attack on the public education of children across Wisconsin is part of a dismantling of the middle class tool box to enrich the wealthy and corporate America and Wall Street. Gov. Walker’s budget actions would cut $834 million from public education, skyrocket tuition for students in Wisconsin and dismantle the technical college system - all to pay for unprecedented tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/15/2011]

One Wisconsin Now Statements Regarding Fitzgerald Rights’ Denial to 2.2 Million Wisconsinites

“Considering how the Republicans plan to slash $900 million from our public schools, cut health care for 1 million Wisconsinites, raise prescription drug costs for countless seniors, raise taxes on the working poor by $51 million while at the same time handing $200 million in tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate special interests, Sen. Fitzgerald might better spend his time convincing his fractured caucus that Gov. Walker isn’t sacrificing their majority in pursuit of higher office.” [CommonDreams, 03/14/2011]

As Enrollment Shoots Up, funding falls for WI technical colleges

State funding for Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges would drop to a dollar level not seen since the late 1980s, despite enrollment growth of 40% over the last decade, if cuts in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget ultimately gain approval, college officials said last week. That could lead to longer waiting lists for classes, more limited access to courses and programs, and ultimately, challenges for Wisconsin manufacturers, health care providers and other employers looking for skilled workers as the state's economy struggles to recover, officials said…Collectively, the technical colleges enroll more than 400,000 students. The technical colleges are widely considered among the state's primary engines driving economic development, as Wisconsin has a greater proportion of middle-level jobs than the rest of the nation - jobs predicted to see a higher-than-average rate of growth in the next decade. (Note: cuts were signed into law, 2011 Act 32)

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/07/2011]

Walker Put Reading Task Force Outside of Department of Public Instruction

In the budget, Walker allocated $1.2 million to the creation of a reading task force to reside within the GOP controlled Department of Administration, rather than in the Department of Public Instruction, where the secretary is democratically elected and accountable to the voters, not Governor Walker. Walker has since used that task force as his platform to introduce education reforms. (2011-13 State Agency Budget Summaries, Department of Administration, page 20) [Department of Administration, 01/01/2011]

Scott Walker Flip Flops on Immigration; Refuses to Explain Giveaway to the Rich

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's pandering flip flop on the racist Arizona immigration law has One Wisconsin Now asking whether a similar strategy could get him to answer the question he has refused to answer: How will Scott Walker pay for his $2 billion tax giveaway to benefit the rich and big business? Walker flipped his position from a weekend Associated Press story after his Facebook page was riddled with criticisms by tea party types.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/16/2010]

Will $2 Billion Buy Walker a Standing Ovation from WMC?

At Tuesday’s Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbying luncheon Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will likely find support from the corporate lobby for his $2-billion, budget-busting, deficit-doubling plan for tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites. What is less likely, is that Walker will explain which drastic cuts he would make to pay for this failed fiscal strategy, according to One Wisconsin Now.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/22/2010]

Walker vetoed $200,000 in Funding for Underserved Youth Sports Authority

“Holloway said the veto cutting funding for the youth sports authority is a mistake. ‘This will affect the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of kids in our community,’ he said. ‘This program keeps our children out of trouble for just $200,000 a year. This program pays for itself because it costs the county nearly $100,000 to send just two juveniles to state correctional facilities. The county will end up paying more in the long run because fewer of our youth will be involved in enriching competitive sports.’” [Milwaukee Business News, 11/27/2009]