Republicans use state budget to wage war on public schools

Rep. Gordon Hints and Rep. Chris Taylor react to reading the GOP's 52-point budget that was given to them one and a half hours before debate began (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Rep. Gordon Hintz (Dem- Oshkosh) and Rep. Chris Taylor (Dem- Madison) react to reading the GOP’s 52-point budget that was given to them one and a half hours before debate began (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Republican state legislators intensified their war against Wisconsin’s public schools last night, using the budget to avoid a democratic process, dismantle public education and attack some of the most vulnerable students in our state.

The GOP legislators provided Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee with a 30 page “K-12 Omnibus Motion,” and gave them approximately one hour to review it before starting debate at 8:15pm and passing the motion in its entirety at almost 2am. 

Republicans are using the budget to ram through several policies that have previously FAILED to be adopted as stand-alone bills by the state senate and assembly. These include the MPS takeover, special needs vouchers, and a school facilities bill for selling MPS buildings to private interests.

The fact that the motion restores the $150 per student funding cut in 2015-16 is of little consolation, since the rest of the Omnibus Motion was designed to funnel money away from public schools and enrich privately run charter and voucher school operators.

This budget is likely to pass, but our fight is just starting. We will NOT allow suburban state legislators to take over our schools and dismantle our public school districts.

Here is what you can do:

Attend an all-member MTEA meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 4:30pm at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St.

STAND UP AND DEFEND Auer Ave. School next Wednesday, May 27 at 4:45pm. Auer Ave. is on 24th St. just north of Burleigh. Auer is one of the schools targeted by the takeover plan and a symbol of all our under-resourced schools. We will surround Auer Ave. School and let state legislators and the county executive know that OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT FOR SALE!

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If It’s Good for the Goose, It’s Good for the Gander from MTEA Union on Vimeo.