Monday, September 10, 2012

Elmbrook Parents Suffer Voter's Remorse

Last October, I pointed out that among the widespread damage that would be caused by Scott Walker's budget and policies, the Elmbrook School District was looking at closing one of its most popular schools:
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.
Two weeks later, the school board chose to ignore the people and closed down the school after all.

Despite having this come down on them as a direct result of Walker's agenda, the people in that community overwhelmingly voted for Walker during the recall election in June.

Now, the parents are angry with the predictable and predicted results of keeping Walker in office, at least until Walkergate catches up to him:
A "class-size controversy" at one school district - just months after a school was closed.

Hillside Elementary was closed because of budgets and shrinking attendance.

But now parents are frustrated because of over-crowded classrooms "We have voiced our concern on that and hoping that they'd add another teacher," said parent Jackie Smith.

Jackie Smith's concerned about her daughter's fifth grade class.

It's one of four at Swanson Elementary pushed to it's maximum size.
I feel bad for the children who are being robbed of their futures, especially since it's because of the selfishness and greed and folly of their own parents.

But I have to wonder what the parents were thinking. They knew what was happening to their children's schools because of Walker, yet voted for him anyway. Now they're upset and angry when things not only don't improve, but actually get worse? Really?

And do I have to point out that any limitations to class sizes was something that was lost when Walker took away bargaining rights? In other words, the parents voted for larger class sizes, so why are they complaining when they got what they voted for?

On another side note, when looking for more information, I did a search of WTMJ-TV's website for the story I linked to above. The search results showed this:

Click on image to embiggen it

However, the first story with the headline about parents being angry about the crowded classes, the article has been removed. Apparently, the corporate media doesn't felt it was less damaging to their cause to report the angry parents as having a "controversy" about class sizes instead.

Then again, I guess it is mildly surprising that they'd even report on it in the first place.


  1. These parents who are complaining are educated, so they KNOW that their child is better off in a class with 25 students, not 30. This is why they pay Brookfield taxes. This is what was lost with the loss of the teachers' voice (collective bargaining). Now it is up to individual school boards to decide how they will make cuts. Some will consolidate, as this district has done. Others may cut supervisory positions instead of crowding students together. There are going to be huge differences between districts, unless legislation is passed to protect the students. But don't count on that happening because it seems that the current trend will be towards "accountability", which means there will have to be supervisors and plenty of paperwork to fill out, so that teachers are evaluated. Time was always a limited resource when teaching and now more time will be spent on proving that a person can teach, rather than just teaching.

  2. The "school boards" have been getting a lot of mention on the GOPs national plans through all the little astro-turf groups.

    This is where the next big wave of conservatism will hit, at the local levels across the nation.

    Instead of average friends and neighbors, the local boards will be comprised of business owners, their spouses, the wealthy local offspring heir, and even the ultra-conservative, born again christians.

    And they all have their place at the table, too.

    I know I wouldn't want to work for these super patriot types. Good luck, Wisconsin.

    1. Its already been happening in Wisconsin. republican legislators send their staff out to get elected to local village boards and school boards.

      It works out well, because we know most of them do not work very hard(last time in session was march), they can get their extremist agenda more infiltrated, they can give them all of the time off and political help they need to get elected and ithelps the republican staffers suck more taxpayer money into their own pockets.

    2. That's what happened out in Kettle Moraine. Mac Davis' wife ended up on the school board (partially because she was pissed that she was moved from prinicpal at Wales elementary to KMHS)and the district was never the same again after that. You're damn right I blame the people who voted her in.

    3. To be fair to the voters though, many times these people run and do not tell who they are. They run under the cover of a "non-partisan" election and pretend that they are non -partisan when in reality they are rabidly partisan.

      Also it is har dto get people to run against them because most people do not have the time to do so and do not have the cushy job of having unlimited time paid for by taxpayers to infiltrate these offices.

    4. The campaign signs for school board here (for the conservative candidate) were as large as Walker's obnoxious recall signs--the big 6-foot ones. I know I wondered who was that interested in a small local election, and being worried by it.

  3. What you are seeing before your eyes is the result of austerity measures taken since the financial meltdown of 2008--only the media is not honest enough to report it that way.
    The GOP obsession with lowering the national debt is due to pressure from international lenders. The GOP uses the debt (where were they complaining while the Too Big banks were being bailed out at the end of Bush/Cheney?!) as fiscal enforcement, saying no increase to the debt, lower it. Coupled with no new taxes or tax increases, States are forced to follow suit, though still needing revenue to function.
    Scott Walker follows suit, passing down State money used to supply Localities with operating funds. Localities are forced to come up with revenues (they're still screaming no tax increases) to operate government services: public schools, police, fire, trash collection, road repairs, etc.
    This happens at the very time when Wall Street has screwed over localities nationwide--few jobs that pay to support families + no ability to pay needed taxes.
    Talk about a F'ed up mess THEY created, and people actually vote these policies into office?
    This is not the Wisconsin I'm accustomed to--and the U.S. is not the same place following 8 F'ing years of Bush/Cheney.
    Obama is doing the best he can do to get us out of this mess, but local voters have to do a better job of electing officials that will truly represent the Public.

    1. Well, people are going to have to find the courage to run for these offices themselves, otherwise the loonies WILL win and stay in control. And then get out there and VOTE! Silence equals consent. The local offices are VERY IMPORTANT, they are closest to your tax dollar. Wake up and smell the coffee, Wisconsin! The toast is burning and the curtains are on fire!

    2. Too true.

      Those at the bottom of the barrel are so easily pushed back down if they try to step up, though.

      But, truth, GrannyB, truth..., we need leadership.

  4. It's sad when you've got kids suffering due to the stupidity of their parents. You're seeing it all over the state, and when I hear a parent complain, I ask them who they voted for. If they voted for Walker, I tell them they got exactly what they wanted, and next time they enter the voting booth they should do their homework before hand.

  5. I'm glad I'm 65, without kids/grandkids. The shit is hitting the fan; it'll take decades to clean it off, and it'll never be the same. Good luck young people/families.

  6. People need to let it sink in ... WHEREVER the Republicans get in ... the PEOPLE LOSE OUT.

  7. It's scary being a parent of a 4 year old about to enter what is now a high quality public school. My child is part of a frightening experiment that could blow up in our face. It's sad what Republicans will vote for just to save $10 or $20 on their property taxes.

    1. It is sad and it is scary. It is not a perfect solution, but you might have to volunteer more in your child's classroom to help make up the difference, because, unfortunately this is going to be with us for awhile and most signs point to things getting worse before they get better as far as schools feeling the cuts.

      Our schools are doing ok for now, but the situation is not perfect by any means. We are paying many more fees and the fees are quite high, so really the tax savings has been eliminated due to the much higher fees that we pay.

      It kind of feels like this administration punishes people who have school age children.

    2. Damn, some of the larger school districts have teachers at the elementary school pasting box tops and milk caps on off duty hours so theirs some extra cash for gym class.

  8. Oh, you mean like the Taxpayers League of Waukesha? Interesting group. Selfish. At least one of their "leaders" should have stayed home and tended the home fires instead of telling everyone else how to raise their children.

  9. OMG, "robbed of their futures" because they have 30 instead of 25 kids in their 5th grade classrooms in freakin' Brookfield. Oh, the poor little snowflakes! To think of the quality education they could have had, if only the teachers' pensions were less generous!

    1. They are less generous. So where is that money going to? Hint: It's not the kids nor the teachers...