MADISON, Wis. — A call for reform of Milwaukee Public Schools by Wisconsin Assembly Reps. Brett Davis (R-Monroe) and Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), ignores recent anti-MPS votes by the duo, including the 2007-09 Assembly Republican budget which would have slashed a plan to give $15 million to Milwaukee Public Schools and an additional $85 million to schools across Wisconsin.
According to an analysis by the state’s independent Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the education portion of the 2007-08 Assembly budget plan crafted by Vukmir, a former Education Committee Chair, and Davis, who followed her as Education Chair, would have:
Cut$15 million in categorical aid to improve Milwaukee Public Schools: Delete $5,000,000 in 2007-08 and $10,000,000 in 2008-09 and the provisions creating a new categorical aid appropriation that would allow the MPS Board of Directors to apply to DOA for grants to implement initiatives to improve pupil academic achievement.
Cut $85 million in general school aids to Wisconsin school districts: Compared to the Joint Finance version of the budget, this would be a reduction of $19,319,200 in 2007-08 and $66,075,200 in 2008-09.
[Source: “Education and Building Program,” Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2007, page 14, page 10, http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lfb/2007-09budget/Assembly/education.pdf 2007 SB 40, Seq. No. 83, 7/10/07]
“Given their misguided attempts to hack tens of millions of dollars planned for the children in Milwaukee Public Schools, this call is as hollow as the cold Wisconsin wind,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Brett Davis and Leah Vukmir saying they want to protect Milwaukee Public Schools sounds a lot like David Vitter, John Ensign and Mark Sanford saying they protect the sanctity of marriage.”
Davis previously distinguished himself by trying to legislate more taxpayer dollars for education out of the hands of public schools students and into the hands of a for-profit company whose top executives contributed to his campaign.
Davis’s plan would have required taxpayers to provide the operators of virtual schools with funding at a current level of $6,000 per student. The cost of curriculum materials provided by K12, Inc. per student costs around $1,200.
According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, two weeks before the November 2006 election, Davis’s campaign received a $350 contribution from Ronald Packard and $150 from Bryan Flood. Packard, who founded K12, Inc. along with right-wing radio host William Bennett, receives over $400,000 annually as K12’s Chief Executive Officer, according to Reuters. Flood at the time was a K12, Inc. Senior Vice President for Public Affairs.