Funding of public education in Wisconsin still lags behind after a decade of Republican-led cuts. A recent report by the Wisconsin Budget Project says that, “Despite recent increases, Wisconsin’s public K-12 school districts still receive less in state aid than they did a decade ago, prior to historic cuts to education.”
The report doesn’t name names as it is officially a nonpartisan organization, but the decade in question was controlled by Republican lawmakers, with support from former Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The report continues: “During that time frame, state lawmakers chose to pass large tax cuts instead of investing the money in local schools. Lawmakers are also increasingly diverting resources allocated for education to private schools and independent charter schools, reducing the resources available for public school districts, which educate the vast majority of Wisconsin students.
“Deep funding cuts threaten Wisconsin’s tradition of high-quality public schools, which have long been an engine of Wisconsin’s economic growth. Wisconsin depends on a well-educated workforce, shaped by outstanding public schools, to lay the foundation for a shared prosperity. To ensure that Wisconsin is competitive in the future, Wisconsin schools must have the resources to offer students a first-rate education.
“The Wisconsin Budget Project is an initiative of Kids Forward engaged in analysis and education on state budget and tax issues, particularly those relating to low- and moderate-income families. The Budget Project seeks to broaden the debate on budget and tax policy through public education and by encouraging civic engagement on these issues.
“The Wisconsin Budget Project, launched in 1999, is part of the State Priorities Partnership, a network of independent, nonpartisan, nonprofits in 32 states engaged in similar work across the country. The Partnership is coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.