Teacher benefit cuts not enough to offset Wisconsin budget impact on schoolsWisconsin's State Superintendent of Schools told members of the legislature's budget committee that the higher benefits payments teachers are being asked to make won't make up for cuts in Gov. Scott Walker's education budget.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin's State Superintendent of Schools told members of the legislature's budget committee that the higher benefits payments teachers are being asked to make won't make up for cuts in Gov. Scott Walker's education budget.
While the governor's collective bargaining plan is not yet officially law, once it is, Walker has said repeatedly that it gives districts the tools they need to deal with cuts. But State Superintendent Tony Evers says the numbers don't add up and those tools won't offset the cut the governor is proposing to what schools can raise in local property taxes. He says “in no way are we going to get through this next year with just people nipping around the edges. I think there will be significant cutbacks this year and it's going to be similarly difficult next year."
Evers told members of the finance committee that while the governor's plan calls for shared sacrifice, it's not being evenly applied, especially when it comes to the school voucher program in Milwaukee. He says “where’s the shared sacrifice when this budget increases funding to voucher schools and independent voucher schools by $40 million. Where's the shared sacrifice when this budget removes the income cap on the choice program, subsidizing wealthy parents who send their children to private schools."
Evers also told lawmakers it's a mistake to eliminate the requirement that voucher schools take the same statewide assessment test as public schools.