Commentary on Wisconsin K-12 Tax & Spending Policies

Dave Zweifel

According to the Department of Public Instruction, 272 of the state’s 424 public school districts will receive less aid for the 2012-2013 school year than they did last year. Although there was a slight increase in general school aid overall, public schools are receiving less because Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP Legislature not only trimmed a good billion dollars from public school spending, but expanded school choice vouchers and other goodies for private institutions at the expense of public schools.
All told, the state has taken away $900 from each of its public school students in the past five years, the bulk of which has come during Walker’s two years as governor. Much of that $900 decrease has been on the backs of public school teachers, who were stripped of their union representation and forced to pay more for their health insurance and pensions. In addition, some 2,300 teacher positions were eliminated in the 2011-2012 school year.

Related: Wisconsin State Tax Based K-12 Spending Growth Far Exceeds University Funding.