Education has always been a top priority for me. I am happy to report that education funding is getting a big boost in the bipartisan budget signed last week.
Not only are our schools getting a large increase in funding, but they are also getting over $2.5 billion in federal funds. Republicans were able to deliver a bi-partisan bill that restored 2/3rds funding and delivered the largest tax cut in state history.
Unlike reckless spending and tax hikes proposed by Governor Evers, Republicans put aside an additional $550 million into the Rainy Day Fund to make sure the needs of our students and the needs of everyone in Wisconsin can be met in the next budget. However, the Governor vetoed that transfer.
It's important to remember that the last time Democrats were in full charge of the budget, they raided money from the Injured Patients Compensation Fund and the Transportation Fund and had almost no money in the Rainy Day Fund. That led to a massive $3.2 billion structural deficit and created a fiscal cliff. I was one of the people in charge of fixing that mess, and we did it without raising taxes.
Districts with some of the worst achievement gap scores are eligible for unprecedented amounts of federal money. There are plenty of ways that money can be put to good use for students, and I hope they take full advantage of it. Milwaukee and Madison
are currently asking for public comment on how to spend the money. Being more transparent is nice to see, but it’s clear they don’t seem to know what to do with it all.
I hope schools will use these resources to help kids recover from the loss of learning during the pandemic, closing the achievement gap, and making sure kids are prepared and ready to return to school safely. I have always believed in providing high-quality educational opportunities for every kid in our state, and I will never stop fighting for that.