To the editor,
Several articles and Letters to The Editor have recently appeared in area weeklies regarding Wisconsin public school funding. In an Aug, 23, 2023 Pierce County Journal column our …
To the editor,
Several articles and Letters to The Editor have recently appeared in area weeklies regarding Wisconsin public school funding. In an Aug, 23, 2023 Pierce County Journal column our local area State Rep. Petryk extolled the “over $1 billion in new money for classrooms across the state” and “nearly $1,000 in additional resources per student over the budget” provided by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Is the $1 billion for K-12 schools only? His “nearly $1,000” per student would make it $500 per year over two years. I have two reliable sources that say it’s $325 per student per year for public schools. Maybe he is figuring in the $1,200 per student increase provided for private school students - certainly not a valid way to present his case.
I met with Petryk at his River Falls “Budget Listening Session” earlier this year to present my concerns regarding state funding needs. I was also present while River Falls Superintendent Benson and two other district representatives very ably laid out the financial crisis school districts are facing because of the still-followed (but antiquated) 1993 school funding policy, inadequate inflation funding over the past 12 years, and the financial cliff caused by the last state budget and improper use of federal emergency-intended COVID funds. Earlier in the year via TV I watched Hudson School Board members present very similar concerns to Rep. Zimmerman. Local-area legislators have been well-informed regarding school funding needs but they then go down to Madison and just vote for whatever Vos and LeMahieu mandate. Wisconsin Republicans want to use the state’s financially healthy tax revenue to give tax breaks, mainly to the rich, but force local school districts to hold revenue-raising referenda for inflation-expanded operating expenses. There is little interest in adequately funding public education to give us a well-educated society - something I think Republicans fear.