Believing such cuts were necessary to hold down taxes and breaking the unions...just because, isn't smart planning but partisan recklessness. Now we have proof:
ELPA Education: The evidence keeps piling up – the cuts to public education in the 2011-13 budget are not good for children, their schools, or their communities. Two of Wisconsin's leading education professionals studied the impact of the budget and published a policy brief entitled, "Making Matters Worse: School Funding, Achievement Gaps and Poverty under Wisconsin Act 32." The findings were startling but not unexpected: Reductions in state aid and revenue limit authority – leaving school districts with $1.6 billion less revenue – are and will be devastating, especially for children from poverty.
James Shaw and Carolyn Kelly wrote the policy brief for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. It examined the impact of the budget on school funding, teacher quality, student learning, and property taxes. Shaw and Kelly are state educators with expertise in school reform and school leadership development.
The pair's key findings are: · State budget cuts hit high poverty districts the hardest.
· High poverty districts have less state revenue to support the needs of children and taxpayers in high poverty districts pay taxes at increasingly higher rates.
· Reductions in employee compensation hit high poverty districts the hardest.
· Reductions in the size of the workforce hit high poverty districts hardest.
· Act 32 (the budget) increases funding gaps for poor and minority students.
In other words, “this study paints a grim picture of funding gaps in Wisconsin public education. … The reductions in state support for public education threaten to increase achievement gaps, and challenge Wisconsin’s constitutional and long-standing commitment to equal education opportunity.”