While Northwoods Republicans last week praised the Joint Finance Committee putting more money to fund public education, a Northwoods Democrat says there's more to the story.
Senator Janet Bewley from Ashland says while money was restored, it still falls far short of where public schools were in 2010, before Governor Walker's first budget. She says a grab of local control by budget-writing Republicans is revenue caps placed on local districts. She says most rural school districts can't keep up with inflationary increases. She says the current uptick in funding only restores a cut that still is far below K-12 funding five years ago.
But Bewley says the public relations campaign of adding more money to education only masks an effort to expand school vouchers, or public education money to private schools...
"...I can look to most of the school districts that I represent that do not have a private school, yet their school districts are being asked to have their funding reduced in order for someone in Milwaukee to have a choice...."
$48 million will be taken out of public education to expand the school choice program. The Joint finance committee restored money in per pupil funding and gave more money for transportation costs and what's known as sparcity aid, to districts with low enrollments. Bewley's Senate District includes Vilas county the the Lac du Flambeau reservation along with Iron county.