MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State School Superintendent Tony Evers told lawmakers Thursday to scrap Governor Scott Walker’s proposed income tax cut, highway spending, and private school vouchers – and give all that money to public schools instead.
Evers appeared before the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which is reviewing the proposed two-year state budget submitted by the Republican Walker.
Evers slammed the governor’s plan to give tax-funded vouchers to parents in up to nine additional school districts – so their kids can go to private schools if they don’t feel their public schools are up to snuff. Evers also criticized Walker’s plan to freeze state-mandated revenue limits so schools don’t get any extra state aid.
GOP finance co-chair John Nygren asked how more money would help improve graduation rates in struggling schools. The superintendent, who’s running for re-election in April against Assembly Republican Don Pridemore, says the Walker budget creates, “too many winners and losers,” and “it pits public school kids against voucher and independent charter school kids – and even public school against public school.”
Evers was referring to Walker’s plan to create a separate pot of bonus state aid for top-performing schools. Evers called the bonuses fleeting, and said the money should be used on all schools.
The superintendent was also critical of letting special needs youngsters attend private voucher schools. Evers called that, “a dangerous experiment with our most vulnerable students.”