Republicans Need to Go Back to School on Education Funding

GOP leaders propose 90% cut of Evers’ new education funding and risk losing billions in federal funding

MADISON, Wis. — No matter what we look like or where we come from, we want our children to attend schools where they can grow into the best versions of themselves.  We want schools that prepare our children for the 21st century economy and allow them to get jobs that will eventually support their children. Investments in our schools are an investment in our collective future. But today, Wisconsin Republicans are proposing a 90% cut to Governor Evers’ proposed new state education funding and are imperiling more than $3 billion dollars of federal funding.

Following a year in which students and educators navigated a historic pandemic and faced additional costs associated with remote learning, social distancing, and sanitization, the proposed disinvestment in our education system is even more bewildering.

The Republican disinvestment in proposed state support for public education ought to be enough cartoon villainy for one day in the Joint Finance Committee, but their plan adds insult to injury by risking billions in federal funds. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, if the state decreases the proportion of the budget spent on education, it would risk losing $3.1 billion dollars in federal funding for schools.

A Better Wisconsin Together Deputy Director Mike Browne commented, “Governor Evers’ budget makes bold, strategic investments in the things we need for a better future for everyone in Wisconsin, and his plan to support public schools in every community and for all students shows that. The cuts Republicans made to the proposed education aren’t just fiscally irresponsible, they are a disservice to our children.”

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives.