Concerned parents involved in the Wauwatosa Support Our Schools organization are firing back at their own legislators following a meeting in which they felt Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) did not adequately listen to their concerns about the future of their kids’ schools. In a statement, Wauwatosa Support Our Schools (SOS) President Mary Young said:
Stop the nonsense and tell the truth.
The fact of the matter is that we parents have not been able to mow our grass for weeks and have unwashed dishes in the sink because these legislators keep coming up with new ways to take funding away from our kids’ schools. With all due apologies to our neighbors, we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids.
Our legislators are lying to us.
First, we have never changed our goals. We do not want our kids’ schools to be cut. The actions by Senator Vukmir and Representative Kooyenga will result in a cut to our schools. The bottom line is this: Our schools will see no increase in funding the first year and a $100 increase in the second year, an increase that becomes a decrease when the new voucher schools syphon the money away and when you account for inflation. A cut by any other name is still a cut.
What Sen. Vukmir and Rep. Kooyenga cannot deny is that they are taking money from our public schools and giving it to private schools. Also, they cannot deny that as a result of their actions, Wisconsin schools will fall below the national average for per pupil spending for the first time ever.
Second, we have not been listened to. While we have sent thousands of postcards, left hundreds of messages and attended a number of listening sessions, most of which neither the senator or the representative were confirmed, we have never spoken directly to our representative or senator. We don’t know who our legislators are listening to, but we can assure you that it is not us.
Third, contrary to our legislators’ assertions, we want all students in the state to attend quality schools like the ones where our children in Wauwatosa go. But contrary to what our legislators suggest, voucher schools are not accountable to taxpayers, they do not perform better than public schools (check the research) and a syphon on money that is earmarked for our kids’ public education.
Taken together, our legislators are committed to a narrative that lacks the truth. As parents, we are committed to calling them on this and if necessary, giving them timeouts.