For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Madison, WI – Governor Evers has proposed a state budget that champions public education at every level, from Wisconsin’s PK-12 schools to technical colleges and the UW System.
“This budget inspires,” said AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas. “Governor Evers has spent the past several months and even years actively listening to what our communities want, in every district rural and urban, and it shows here. With true collective bargaining rights for front-line workers, and resources for students and educators from pre-kindergarten through college, we can gain the freedom to not only survive this pandemic, but to thrive. This is a budget that every Wisconsinite can get behind, and AFT-Wisconsin members are passionate about advocating for it.”
AFT-Wisconsin Vice President for Higher Education Jon Shelton, a professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at UW-Green Bay, added: “Our higher education members have been fighting for years for a budget that would fund the tuition freeze, and we are delighted that Governor Evers' budget does that, proposing an increase in state funding that would ensure our students have what they need during this difficult time. The Governor's budget proposal would also help to restore the voices of educators—from PK to the UW system—by ensuring their right to collectively bargain.”
AFT-Wisconsin Vice President for PK-12 Teachers Dina Brennan, a teacher at the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, said: “It’s been a hard year for students, teachers, and parents alike. This budget gives us hope. Whether it’s a funding increase that promotes fairness for lower-income, often rural schools, or a special education reimbursement that cares for our most vulnerable students, we finally have a budget that reflects the progressive Wisconsin values AFT-Wisconsin members champion every day.”
AFT-Wisconsin Vice President for the Wisconsin Technical College System Lisa Conley, faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences at Milwaukee Area Technical College, said: “From auto repair to accounting, business to building trades, HVAC to healthcare, Wisconsin’s technical colleges have been a pathway to family supporting jobs for generations of Wisconsinites. Increased funding provided by Governor Evers’ Badger Bounceback plan will allow the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) to continue this tradition and more importantly, prepare Wisconsin’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. WTCS educators are ready for the challenge and look forward to rolling up our sleeves in partnership with the Governor and the people of Wisconsin to build a stronger, more resilient, and more equitable Wisconsin.”