Friday, October 14, 2011

Scott Walker The Schoolyard Bully

Scott Walker, schoolyard
bully, photoshopped
to give him hair
Scott Walker and the usual suspects among squawk radio hosts, conservative bloggers and other right wing trolls have been going on for months and months saying how Walker's "tools" are leaving schools just as good or even better than they were before.  And they expect people to believe this even has he has cut nearly a billion dollars from the schools this year.

But when they try to cite and example, like Kaukauna, it turns out to be a big, fat lie.

And now that school boards around the state are having a real taste of Walker's budget and his tools, it is leaving a bad taste in their mouths and a lot of very angry parents.

In Green Bay, they are struggling how to make up for a $8 million deficit that Walker's budget has left them with.  To try to cope with this, the school board is looking at removing three dozen positions, cutting supplies for the classroom and using some one time federal money.

The Elmbrook school board is facing a similar mess.  The budget is in such poor shape that they are closing down a popular elementary school.  Even when the parents try to save the school by holding a voluntary referendum to increase the tax levy, Walker's manipulations of the law has taken away local control from even the voters and prevent them from saving their school.

In the small town of Pepin, they fare even worse under Walker's anti-education budget:
Changes students will encounter when they return to school next month include a classroom shared by fourth- through sixth-graders. Because of the elimination of one rural bus route, many students will now ride the bus for more than an hour, morning and evening. All sports will be shared with a neighboring district. A program to give special help to struggling math students in elementary school has been eliminated and a reading specialist’s time has been cut by 40 percent. A high school teacher has been eliminated. Beginning this fall, Pepin will share an art teacher with a neighboring district, trimming art programming for Pepin students by 40 percent.
The Cap Times article also provides a list of other communities suffering under Walker's insufficient budget:
• At Beloit Turner, the elimination of the high school alternative education program and a position cut due to cancellation of a specific state grant, are called “a severe cut to our at-risk students.”
• In Auburndale, the district will no longer offer advanced placement English or advanced placement computer science. There will be less instruction in both vocal and instrumental music. The drama program will likely be cut.
• In Oconto Falls, cuts at the high school include positions in special education, the mathematics lab, technical education and the library. At the middle school, the district eliminated half-time positions for band and math and a half-time dean of students.
• St. Croix Central will hire lower-paid para-professionals to replace certified teachers in the elementary school library, the English language learner program and a technology coordinator program.
• Germantown schools eliminated a reading specialist, high school guidance counselor, instructional specialist, communication coordinator and middle school teacher.
• Winneconne lost positions in math, English and the library along with half-time positions in family consumer science and health/physical education.
The Cap Times also sent out a survey to 424 school districts. From the ones that responded, 65% said that they will have fewer full-time-equivalent positions, 27% said that they will have fewer programs and activities and 32% said that they will have larger class sizes this year compared to last year.

Also very telling is that many of the school superintendents and other officials keep pointing out that next year, when Walker's "tools" are used up, they will be facing even bigger deficits and no way to deal with them but to slash their own programs and lower the quality of education that they provide.  This would open the door wide for the substandard private schools to come in and grab up our tax dollars without necessarily providing any education themselves.

In summary, despite their claims to the otherwise, Walker and his Republican allies in the legislature have failed in the education department. Their approach to the education systems in Wisconsin, and the children that rely on them, are much like the schoolyard bullies that rob kids of their lunch money, then try to claim that they are sweet and innocent when confronted with the truth.

But in Wisconsin, we know how to deal with these types of bullies: We join forces and have the bullies expelled, or in this case, recalled.


  1. Remember, the trash that is the GOP wants to create more idiots that vote for them. So, the best way to do that is to gut education and spew neurotoxins into the environment. Together, the lack of instruction and the chemical lobotomy have a high likelihood of getting people to vote repug.

  2. Lower education simply equals less investment.

    Why do we even have to have an education system, if we simply pray our way along in life, we'll be rewarded.

    Besides, the less these little jerk-off kids know, the better. They are all going to just end up in some low-wage manufacturing job standing on an assembly line, anyway.

    If it is good enough for the rest of the world, it is plenty good for us here in Wisconsin!

    You don't here those little China kids complaining when they get their job making stuff.

    Overtime is a joke, too. Everyone should treat their bosses like royalty, if it weren't for the wealthy, most everyone would be long starved to death already.

    The masses expect us wealthy to give them everything. BS, I say. If someone don't like the work I supply them with or the pay, they can get out and go do it themselves.

  3. Sadly, I don't think the Republicans even know how much damage they have done. They are ruining our state.

  4. Just one comment, all private schools should not be lumped together as substandard. I know that you are referring to the "fly by night" types that have appeared in order to educate at a "profit" but our argument is stronger if we admit what is already known. Some private schools have been operating for a long time to fill a legitimate educational need. Public schools have been brilliantly filling an educational need for a long time too. Walker's budget is a means to destroy public schools for political gains. This will hurt all of society when these legitimate needs are not met for students. So often legitimate arguments are portrayed as just "whining"...and portraying all private schools the same will cause many to dismiss your argument as whining. BUT, everything else in your column is dead on.