This says it all about any question about whether Walker and his Republican rubber-stampers favor concrete over children in budget cut proposals that will lead to attacking public education, laying off teachers and staff, shutting down schools, increasing property taxes and slashing funding for public transportation so that the road builder lobbyists can be appeased for their political contributions that helped lead to the Walker regime. It’s lopsided for a reason.
Walker is proposing cutting general school aids by 8.4 percent while he wants to increase funding for roads by nearly 15 percent. Education lobbyists have been urging Walker to use some of the $636 million in new revenue to lessen the cut to schools, but the governor hasn’t committed to that.
With $636 million in revenue projected to come in above previous forecasts, the Democrats proposed reducing putting education cuts with proposing aid by $356 million. The Republicans quickly voted that down.
Republicans did approve a $49 million reduction in the cut to schools as Walker had proposed, which also allows for about a $67 million increase in local property taxes. But even with that, schools still would have to shoulder a roughly $800 million cut in aid and reduce the total amount they get from aid and local property taxes by 5.5 percent.
Combined, those changes would leave schools with $1.7 billion less in funding than they have now.
Many school districts have been planning to lay off teachers, increase class sizes and cut back programs like music and foreign languages to cover the reductions. Milwaukee, the state’s largest school district, expects to eliminate about 1,000 full-time teaching and staff positions.
As they say, just follow the money. Walker has been bought and sold and he’s just following his orders like an obedient errand boy:
A Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows Walker received over $109,000 in campaign support from road builders, including $84,793 in direct campaign contributions between January 2009 and August 30, 2010. In addition, the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association gave the Republican Governors Association $25,000 on March 10, a few weeks after Walker flew to Florida last February to address the road builder lobby’s annual meeting. The RGA spent millions of dollars on negative broadcasts ads and mailings supporting Walker and attacking his opponent Tom Barrett in the governor’s race.
Walker’s share of road builder contributions was 45 percent of the $188,423 the special interest group donated to all candidates for statewide office and the legislature during the period.