Ask Tom Barrett — Get School Funding on the Agenda

Click image to go to the "Ask Tom" page.

Almost certain Democratic Gubernatorial nominee will be participating in a live video chat on Sunday, March 7 at 4:00 PM.  You can submit questions in advance by clicking the image above or this link.  Now is the time to get school finance reform on his agenda, to make him know that this is an issue that potential voters care about. Ask about long term solutions, Penny for Kids, the current crisis or all of the above.  The more specific the better.

In a related matter, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann came out in favor of Education Excellence this week (I think he meant “Educational Excellence”).  A bold stand.  I hear next week he will be singing the praises of apple pie.

As one might guess the the specifics in most areas are lacking.  Some things caught my eye.  These two bullet points appear to be contradictory:

  • Giving public school districts the ability to ensure that tax dollars are directly benefiting the classroom. That means removing rules, mandates and regulations that are costing districts more and more money, and empowering local action to control costs.
  • Strengthening the state government partnership with public school boards, concentrating on enacting policies that ultimately demand excellence and accountability, while ensuring schools are safe and nurturing places for kids to learn.

Virtual schools and charters are singled out for praise and expansion.  More contradiction and fewer details here:

  • Keeping K-12 education funding as Wisconsin’s top budget priority and fixing the broken state budget process to ensure public schools and the UW System receive necessary funding.

He’s right that the budget process is broken, but part of the reason it is broken is that avoiding real revenue reforms,  — not K-12 education funding — has been the “top budget priority.”  Since elsewhere Neumann talks of keeping revenue growth below the rate of inflation,  it is doubtful that the fixes Neumann will support will be of help in providing schools the resources they need.  Very doubtful.

Thomas J. Mertz

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1 Comment

Filed under "education finance", Budget, education, Elections, finance, Local News, Pennies for Kids, School Finance, Take Action

One response to “Ask Tom Barrett — Get School Funding on the Agenda

  1. Todd Price

    right on T.J.

    I’m interested to hear what are the specific ideas any and all of the candidates have for real school finance reform. Pennies for kids is a great first start and they should be on the record for whether they support such a proposal or if they have other ideas.

    Soon we should all call for a constitutional amendment, one that binds the state government and the federal government to funding education so that every child has an excellent school as well as an excellent teacher.

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