Sunday, July 29, 2018

Scott Walker the UNeducation Governor

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker is desperate and informed.  The numbers are in and public education is going to be the determining factor in the gubernatorial race this year.

Walker also knows that if that is the case he is sunk, which is why he is desperately trying to rewrite history and change the narrative!  He has even taken to trying to give himself a nickname - The Education Governor. 

Setting aside the fact that only porn stars and four year olds give themselves their own nicknames, Walker (the fiscal conservative with money to burn) has just produced his third ad "proving" he is the education Governor.

The first ad:
The first Walker education ad features Anita D'Abbraccio, a special education teacher in the Racine Unified School District. D'Abbraccio praises Walker for giving schools "flexibility to put money where it matters most, in our classroom." The flexibility D'Abbraccio references is Walker's signature Act 10 legislation, which eliminated most public employees' collective bargaining rights and required them to pay more into their pensions and health insurance premiums.
  Act 10 was not an education bill it was a political retribution bill.  It was designed with one purpose in mind - to cut off the legs of one of the strongest groups who oppose Scott Walker - the public employee unions.   By virtually eliminating teachers unions, it kept an organizing and money backer of his opponent toothless. 

Conversely, by undermining teachers unions, it made schools less safe, the teaching profession less professional and greatly affected our children's ability to learn. 

Second ad:

A second education-focused ad focuses on a bill Walker signed into law in March increasing sparsity aid for small, rural schools. That legislation also allows districts that spend less than most others to raise their revenue limits without a vote from local property taxpayers. Similar provisions were added to the 2017-19 budget by lawmakers but vetoed by Walker. He then offered his support for the measures as separate legislation.
The budget Walker signed into law in September 2017 included a $639 million funding boost  to K-12 schools.
The ad features Jeanie Hatfield, a recently retired elementary school teacher also from Racine, praising Walker for putting "more resources in the classroom this year."
Hatfield, who spent about 30 years working in public schools before retiring and starting a business, said in an interview that she was pleased with Walker's $200-per-student funding boost in this year's budget, followed by a $204-per-student increase next year. 
Have to love this one.  Scott Walker is campaigning on allowing smaller school districts, the ability to raise taxes without taxpayer approval because, because he has so dramatically cut their aid that they are seriously struggling.

Yes, in his last budget, Scott walker allocated $639 million extra dollars towards education(but gave voucher schools more than their fair share) and likes to tout that as an accomplishment. Prior to this budget. he has cut public education over a Billion and a half dollars, more then any Governor in our history.   His new "investment" is an attempt that has fallen short of righting a wrong.

I would also like to point out, that when trying to find someone to advocate for his "sparsity aid" to rural schools, found someone from Racine (the fifth largest city in WI) who is no longer a teacher. 

Latest ad:

From @scottwalker tweet:
Scott Walker

Verified account

Check out our new ad! It talks about how we’re supporting Fab Labs in public schools so our smaller communities, like Three Lakes, can keep more of their graduates close to home
As Homer Simpson would say - D'oh! 

The Three Lakes School district will stay open, after voters passed a nearly $15 million referendum Tuesday night.
750 people voted in favor of the referendum, while 294 votes opposed it.
The money will be divided over the next five years and will be used for operating costs to keep the school running. 
Nothing like begging for money to keep the doors open of your local public school.   Scott Walker forgot to brag about that part in his campaign ad. 

The logical next step for the folks in Fitswalkerstan is to assign their sycophants and Walker Go-fers to give him coordinated back up. 

Christian Schneider is of course the first one to answer the call(forgive me Father, for clicking on Schneiders garble):

 Walker, on the other hand, has challenged the narrow meaning of the word “education.” During the Act 10 debate, he argued mere spending increases didn’t do kids any good if they were primarily used to prop up lavish health and pension benefits for public school teachers. His reforms both poured more money into classrooms and allowed school districts more flexibility in hiring younger, more dynamic teachers. No longer are districts hamstrung by turgid union rules meant to benefit the teaching establishment over kids.
Christian is of course, all foam and no beer. 

We have covered the ridiculousness of anyone thinking ACT10 was about education reform.    It did not "pour more money" into classrooms, nor did it give districts more flexibility in "hiring younger, more dynamic teachers".

Time out. 

What the hell does that even mean?  I know Schneider is an untouchable at the "dead tree", because of the Bradley Foundation money they so desperately need, but could someone at least fact check him once in a while?   Does he think that School districts were unable to hire younger teachers before?  Or maybe he thinks because of the union that districts could only hire younger teachers who were not dynamic?  Possibly he believes that at a certain point the elder teachers are no longer capable of teaching(however ACT10 did not eliminate complete age discrimination, maybe they can go after that next).   Now you see why Schneider is 24 cents short of a quarter. 

I digress....back to the story -

The common misperception amongst the group thinker, coffee getters of the right, is that unions only benefit the teaching establishment over the kids.   Schneider has probably not stepped foot in a public school in this century, and likes to make sure that facts and research are taboo in his writing should know that google is his friend.

In Seattle earlier in the year, the teachers went on strike and eventually settled on the following:
 • Recess: Guaranteed 30 minutes of recess for all elementary students.
• Reasonable testing: New policies to reduce the over-testing of our students.
• Professional pay: Base salary increases of 3 percent, 2 percent and 4.5 percent, plus the state COLA of 4.8 percent
• Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Test scores will no longer be tied to teacher evaluations, plus there is new contract language that supports teachers' professional growth.
• Educator workload relief: Additional staff to reduce workloads and provide student services.
• Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: Creating race and equity teams at 30 of the district’s schools.
• The administration’s proposal to lengthen the school day: Teachers will be compensated for additional work.
Teachers striking for more less testing, more recess and equity.  Last I saw it was the kids who benefited greatly from those concessions. 

Now on to my good friends at MacIver.   The ability to make Scott Walker an education Governor was a bridge to far for the regulars so the intern got handed that job.

Like Scott Walker's presidential run, she failed miserably

Facing falling revenues,On the heels of the Bush Great Recession, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2009 budget hiked state taxes by $2 billion, property taxes by $1.5 billion, and cut state aids to K-12 education by $284 million. It’s interesting how often those on the left turn straight to Walker’s very first budget(Which cut education close to $1.6 Billion(PS: FYI Ola - 1.6 billion is much more than 284 million), ignoring what had happened just two years prior. Facing a manufactured crisis, Walker cut took a machete to state funding to schools – while also giving them the tools  forcing districts to dramatically cut teachers already low salaries,to make up the lost aid, including opening up healthcare plans to new bidding. Selective memory is a funny thing.      Bullshit Propaganda is not that funny.  
But wait there is more!
To mainstream Democrats, Act 10 has been a political pariah that very inconveniently helped out school budgets. 

Yes it has helped out school budgets so greatly that almost every district in Wisconsin, has had to go to an operating referendum in the last few years to keep the lights on and the doors open. 

I would suggest that Ola follow her owna advice and check out a school budget.   If she had an editor maybe he/she could have pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of her final points. 

The first was that thanks to Scott Walker, graduation rates are up in Wisconsin(all hail Hydra I mean Scott Walker) but in Milwaukee they are falling tremendously(not his fault).

The next is, thanks to Scott Walker, everyone is taking the same test (ACT). Now if we could only get the voucher schools to bring their test scores up to where the public schools are, then maybe Ola will actually luck into a point.

One of the most fitting stories this year in public education, is the story of the "Education Governor's" home school district - Delavan-Darien

 A failed referendum at Delavan-Darien schools has the district cutting 20 percent of its teaching staff.On Wednesday, the district told TODAY’S TMJ4 it is cutting several other positions district-wide to balance the budget...The district plans to cut 39 teachers, an undetermined number of non-teaching staff and close Darien Elementary at the end of the school year. 
The tools that Scott Walker gave his home town schools, was a wrecking ball! 

The reality is, according to the facts on the ground, state school funding has steadily declined under Scott Walker, and not just for teacher salaries but safety, security and special needs.  

How can a rural school meet critical needs when money for schools is less than adequate?
“A school board member went door-to-door asking for support,” Birchwood Superintendent Diane Johnson said to members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding. “He raised $3,000 to get the front doors locked.” The money raised was for purchase of a long-needed intercom system at the front door. “The doors were not locked during the day until this month,” Dr. Johnson told Commission members in May.
Dr. Johnson went on to say next would come an effort to buy key fobs for the staff and re-key the doors. The school didn’t lock the doors or change the locks for over 50 years. With a population of less than 500 in Birchwood, “everyone has a key to the school.”
School funding is not adequate for students in many communities across our state. Mounting mental health and school safety issues are just some of the problems facing superintendents, school boards and bookkeepers like Birchwood’s Bonita Basty.
Ten percent of Birchwood’s tight school budget must be transferred to cover required costs for students with special needs, Ms. Basty explained. In addition, the small district is depleting its reserve funds to cover increasing costs for students with special needs.

For the sake of our children, and the future of our State...In November show up to vote and make sure that we show that we are educated enough to know that Scott Walker is as far from the "Education Governor"as Donald Trump is to a model husband!

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