To the editor:
Governor Walker has proposed additional funding for schools in his budget. This is very welcome news, but there are several details that are very concerning.
The state’s current funding formula for education provides more money for poorer rural and urban school districts. But the governor has, instead, proposed a flat per pupil aid payment, which actually rewards wealthier districts. There is a drastic difference in school funding between districts, according to friends who have lived in the city of Milwaukee and in a suburb of the city. It is unwise to ignore such unequal resources. All children should be provided the best education possible, no matter what their community’s resources.
It is also very troubling that the proposal contains a provision that requires districts to certify that that their teachers pay at least 12 percent of all costs and payments associated with their health plans. We know that, as a result of Act 10, there is already a shortage of teachers in the state. This proposal will make teaching even less attractive as a profession and could cause increased shortages throughout the state. Moreover, local districts would lose more control to the state, which is against the stated principles of most Republicans.
As a grandparent, I want my grandsons to have dedicated, well-qualified teachers, not over-worked teachers given extra duties due the shortages – or even worse, unqualified “fill-in teachers” who lack the credentials of trained teachers. I urge all readers to contact their state senator and representative about the proposal, so that it can be amended to avoid these problems.