Chippewa Falls, WI – School districts across Wisconsin have faced devastating budget cuts under the Walker administration, and this year’s budget is no exception. With greatly expanded access to voucher programs, the promised per pupil increase will hardly alleviate the strain districts continue to feel. Yet the Walker administration continues to tout their overnight change of heart when it comes to public education, and visiting the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District provides a perfect photo-op for the Governor’s re-election campaign.
“When Governor Walker says that he supports public education and is providing more funding, it sounds great,” said Dina Brennan, 2nd grade teacher and CFFT Local 1907 Co-President. “However, actions speak louder than words and his past actions have proven that public education is not a priority for him."
Wisconsin’s students and teachers have shouldered the burden of the Walker administration’s aggressively anti-public education policies. With historic teacher shortfalls and educational outcomes that lag nationally, Walker’s destructive cuts have certainly taken their toll. Yet in a re-election year in which the Governor faces any number of pro-public education candidates, his campaign has jumped into action with photo-ops at public schools and marginal increases to struggling districts.
“If the Governor's presence here was because he truly cared about public education, he would sit and have a real conversation with the people in the trenches,” added Paula Millar, middle school counselor and CFFT Local 1907 Treasurer. “My colleagues and I would welcome it.”
In order to truly build an education system that serves every student, Madison politicians must put transparent campaigning aside and instead put the needs of our students and districts first. Rather than merely showing-up for a photo-op when it’s politically convenient, we invite the Governor to truly engage with the staff serving on the front lines of public education in Wisconsin.