The Joint Finance Committee dealt with some education matters today and the news is mostly good. The Special Education categorical aid increase proposed by Governor Doyle advanced intact, as did the SAGE funding. GOP attempts to make the revenue caps more draconian, via a permanent annual increase limited to $100 failed. Much more at WiscPolitics, including this from Madison’s own Mark Pocan:
Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, mocked the Republicans’ budget cutting proposals, saying their “rhetoric on taxes” and “zeal to reduce government” is at odds with the priorities of the people of the state.
“You’re like a teenage girl who sees Brad Pitt, but in your case it’s when you see Grover Norquist,” Pocan said.
The reality of the Republican proposal is it will lead to school closings and consolidation, larger class sizes, and program cuts, he said.
“This is a cut in education no matter what way you try to paint it,” Pocan said.
I’m proud to say that he is my Rep.
Other “good” news is the Republicans Luther Olsen and Alberta Darling sided with Democrats on key votes. Olsen and Darling are not my favorites, but they were both members of the Special Joint Committee to Review the School Aid Formula and they heard and listened to the realities created by our broken system. They might not “get it” all the way, but their heads are out of the sand.
The letters, emails, calls, visits all helped. Keep the pressure on!
Thomas J. Mertz