(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)
Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where now’s not the time for your tears.
We begin this week in Wisconsin with one of the least surprising pieces of analysis ever, and it comes on a week that included the sudden appearance on the electric Twitter machine of Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus once hired by Koch Industries to manage this particular midwest subsidiary. It turns out that, if you don’t fund education, education has no money, and then education goes straight to hell. Who knew? From UpNorth News:
In compiling the report, the organization traced a decade’s worth of budget decisions enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature that resulted in record cuts to public education. In short, the report found many state lawmakers have deemed tax cuts more important than supporting Wisconsin’s 400-plus public school districts.
The loss in public education dollars was accomplished by diverting millions toward the expansion of the private voucher school program, offering tax cuts primarily aimed at the wealthiest households and wiping out business taxes in manufacturing agriculture, according to the report. Next school year, the state will spend $75 million less in state aid than a decade earlier, based on inflation, the report states. That means a 1.2 percent reduction compared to state aid for schools in 2011, according to Tamarine Cornelius, the report’s author.
If you don’t collect money, you have no money to spend on stuff. Again, who knew?
Since January 2011, the Legislature has enacted more than 100 tax cuts, the report shows, totaling $13.6 billion during the past decade. The combined cost of those reductions has grown each year since, starting at $60 million in 2012 and growing to projected $2.4 billion in 2021, adjusting for inflation, the report states. Those tax cuts have drained dollars from public schools, Cornelius said.
According to the report, if lawmakers had not approved the tax cuts and instead would have appropriated the tax dollars to public schools, an additional $727 million would currently be available for the public school system. Simply eliminating the manufacturing credit given to Wisconsin businesses and instead dedicating the taxes collected to public schools would have boosted funding above 2011 levels, Cornelius said.
Rumors out of America’s Dairyland have it that Walker’s got an itch to run for public office again. Please, Wisconsin, regain your sanity as quickly as possible.
(In other Wisconsin-related news. the president* seems to have been obsessed with badgers, and this is not crazy at all.)
- Education notebook – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
- California – Ravenwoode: Offering appreciation to health, education officials – Lake County News
- Education News – Texarkana Gazette
- US Department of Education Releases “COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs” | US – U.S. Department of Education
- The more you learn, the more you earn: education and poverty alleviation in Thailand – UN News
- Dep’t of Education issues emergency order waiving test requirement for seniors, series of adjustments – Florida Politics
- D.C. mayor proposes boost in education spending as she calls on schools to fully reopen in the fall – The Washington Post
- Faculty invited to apply to General Education Scholar Program | Penn State University – Penn State News
- US Department of Education Announces More Biden-Harris Appointees | US – U.S. Department of Education