A few weeks ago, while attending the annual WASB Convention in Milwaukee, I was in the audience when Governor Scott Walker addressed the attendees. It took me a while to jot down the thoughts I had while listening to the governor’s speech, but today I was finally able to send this letter to Governor Walker.
Dear Governor Walker:
Recently you spoke to school board members, school superintendents, and school business managers at the 92nd annual Wisconsin Education Convention held in Milwaukee. In reference to school funding, you said that your 2013-15 biennial budget would increase funding for all schools. There was widespread applause at the hope of receiving adequate money to keep pace with rising costs associated with educating our youth. Thank you for any assistance you can give us in this area so that we do not have to further cut programs and opportunities for students due to lack of funds.
You also indicated that you were looking at giving “bonus” funds to schools which scored well on the new DPI report cards since those schools, teachers, and administrators who were getting good results should be rewarded for their efforts. While this idea of a “bonus” for those schools which are getting better results may seem to follow market-driven tenets, it is actually an example of what happens when market forces are replaced by government-driven controls that tip the balance to favor some at the expense of others.
Much more on Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman, here.