Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-’13 budget proposal includes cuts to Wisconsin’s public schools of more than $834 million. This represents the largest cut to education in our state’s history. It would be impossible to implement cuts this size without significant cuts to educational programs and services for Wisconsin’s children.
The proposal is drastic – and that is just part of the problem. You have likely heard the old adage that a frog placed in a pot of hot water will immediately jump out to avoid harm, while a frog placed in cool water will not notice if the heat is turned up and will unwittingly allow itself to be boiled alive. Similarly, the proposed cuts are placed on top of smaller cuts the schools have taken steadily over the past two decades.
In Wisconsin, school districts have been under strict limits on their revenues and spending. These limits have not kept pace with the natural increases in the costs of everyday things like supplies, energy and fuel. So every year, local school board members and administrators have had to cut their budgets to comply with their budget limits.