Monday, March 24, 2014

Moment of Truth For Public Education

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker was recently given a HUGE benefit of the doubt by Politifact!  

"With the tax controls we already put in place, property taxes on a typical home in December of 2014 will actually be lower than they were in December of 2010."

The Republican governor says that even before his new plan for more property tax relief would kick in, he and GOP lawmakers already have lowered the typical bill by virtue of past tax controls they put in place.

Is he right?
In a very very clear one word answer -  NO!

 A total of 35 school districts statewide have placed referendums on the April ballot, including Markesan, which is asking for $2.78 million to maintain programs and operations. Another eight school districts, including Lomira, held referendums on Feb. 18. All but one passed.

For 43 school districts in Wisconsin....the absolute answer is NO.  Property taxes are rising tremendously! Let's look at the Markesan District -

The tax impact of the referendum is estimated to be around $135 a year on a $100,000 home, $202.50 on a $150,000 home and $270 on a home valued at $200,000.
 So the residents in Markesan can count on a $270/yr increase JUST TO KEEP THE SCHOOLS OPEN! I know they can use the "tools" and cut the fat, then everything will be fine.   Except they have been there done that:

Since 2005 the small rural school district has been losing state aid and was forced to cut its budget by almost $1.5 million. Cuts included a reduction in administrators, staff, busing contracts and employee benefits. In addition, three buildings have been consolidated into two.The district borrowed an additional $270,000 on a State Trust Fund loan to keep afloat.
 Which proves yet another of Scott Walker's lies - education reform.  Scott Walker has enacted education devastation not reform.    The one thing he did reform though, was he is bringing people closer to God as the school board president of Markesan let's us know:

Kottke said another $1 million can’t be cut from the current budget.
“I am praying beyond praying that it passes,” she said.

Excellent campaign slogan for the republicans this year - vote for us then pray like crazy you survive!

This is of course not new to readers of Cogdis knows almost the exact same story is happening in Tomah!  

In the Markesan district, maybe the 600 vote win for Rick Gudex is not looking so good now.  

See Markesan School District, just to stay afloat, had to borrow $270,000.   American Federation For Children, led by formerly convicted felon Scott Jensen,  spent $325,000 alone on the Rick Gudex campaign(he won by 600 votes).  

Let that sink in. 

Now the term "School Choice" no longer means allowing kids to go to a private school on the taxpayer dime.  The republicans under Scott Walker, have defined school choice as do we choose to pay an unreasonable amount of taxes to keep our school open or do we just shut the doors on our public schools? 

November will be a moment of truth for many districts in WI.  Do we continue voting republicans  who keep passing the buck on their necessary commitment to public education?  Do they even have a commitment to public education?   Why would we vote yes for a referendum and then vote in people who do not support public education? Do people understand that by having to pass referendums for your school district to survive, that the state government is NOT cutting your taxes but just passing the buck?  Does your local politician look at public education as an expense or an investment?   Do you want the best for your children and grandchildren?

People need to think long and hard, do research and vote for the person who best serves your families education needs,  NOT the person with your favorite letter behind their name! 


  1. From Letters to the Editor and the comments, most Walker voters will vote to reject these school referendums. Therefore property taxes will be lower in these school districts. So what if schools close and class sizes balloon. Public education is just another entitlement as far as too many Republicans are concerned.

  2. A common theme from Republicans commenting online about why to vote against local school referendums is that the extra money will be used to pay teachers more, and that teachers don't deserve more money. The hatred toward teachers established by the Wisconsin Republican propaganda apparatus is truly disgusting and well entrenched.

    BTW Comments will not post in my Firefox. I have to use Explorer.

  3. @12:49 - so you would like to see schools closed? You do realize that people buy houses based on schools and how close they are. Schools are an important cog for a functioning community. Is your happy meal tax reduction really worth it? Very short sighted.

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