State Representative Mark Pocan met with the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education on Monday, November 30 to discuss “K-12 Funding in Wisconsin and the Impact of the State Budget on School District Finances.” (State Senator Mark Miller, who was also expected, was ill, Liz Stevens from his office attended in his stead). The short version of what transpired is that although Pocan brought Bob Lang and Dave Loppnow from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau as support, they were unable to “shut the lions’ mouths” and the Board got a few nips in. Beyond that, Pocan explained the intent and context of the budget “fix,” emphasized the importance of addressing revenue issues, gave some thoughts on school finance reform, defended parts of his record and more-or-less split the blame for everything bad between Governor Jim Doyle and the economy.
I have to give Pocan some credit and respect for facing the lions and for being very forthright and forthcoming. I’ll even go beyond that and say that when he was talking about what can and should be done and why, he showed understanding and that he cared. It was words, not actions, and I want action from my State Rep.. But at least he didn’t shut the door on action. Let’s help him open that door (more on that below, but think Penny for Kids).