Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Walker will end and privatize public schools, especially those in conservative rural areas.

There's no free lunch. Funny thing, Scott Walker and his followers have thrown that concept out the door now that they're in complete control of the state. 

Public education will only get more expensive as the state shifts the cost of education to local districts, via referendums, instead of spreading the cost to all taxpayers for the greater good.

And after a successful referendum, taxes go, while Walker brags about cutting them. It's the old "career politician" trick. And despite not having an alternative option, Walker will end Common Core.

And it'll be going from bad to worse:
WPR: For many of Wisconsin's rural school districts, the issue of school funding is a pressing one. There are 340 students enrolled in the school district of Potosi. Schools in small, rural towns across Wisconsin are struggling. Enrollment is declining, poverty is rising, and transportation costs are considerable. Jerry Fiene, the executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, says that limited school funding has exacerbated the situation. “Over the past 10 years, there have been nearly 1,000 referenda to exceed the revenue limit. And of those, 80 percent are rural school districts.”
If Walker gets another 4 years, he's going to push a wasteful internet "distant learning" plan as a way around busing and the dwindling supply of teachers hired away by wealthier districts. Distant learning has been a disaster so far, but still...
Walker said his next budget would include more focused aid for rural schools, “We're going to build off of that and incorporate it in our budget to try to give more attention not only for transportation costs, but for distance learning costs and other things that offset some of the challenges that rural schools have across the state,” Walker said.
That's horrible news. Mary Burke on the other hand passionately cares about schools:
Mary Burke said she wants to remake Wisconsin's school funding formula to help rural schools if the budget allows.
The problem with all schools, especially in the rural areas, is upkeep, fluctuating enrollment and the important and sadly understated roll they play in bring communities together:
Ron Saari, the Postosi School District’s superintendent, said that the community’s 1950s-era school building is aging and needs attention. He said some people are worried. “When a school shuts down in a town like Potosi, they say that the town kind of goes dead,” Saari said. “The school is seen as the heart of the community.”
One teacher Facebook'ed this frustration:
I am a teacher in a public school in Wisconsin. In 2011 our governor enacted the biggest cuts to education in our state's history- $1.2 billion. In the following years, more money was drained from Wisconsin’s public schools into voucher schools and charter schools. Yet, to the casual observer, Wisconsin’s public schools may look largely unchanged. Why is this? One answer is that Wisconsin’s teachers are doing their best to make up the difference.

When schools don’t have enough money for needed supplies, teachers dip into their own pockets … spent $513 in personal funds on materials for the classroom. Our school parking lot is almost never empty; teachers are there early in the morning, long after school lets out, and on the weekends. When teachers do leave school, they carry a bag of work with them. Over the past three years, I have watched talented and devoted teachers leave the profession. I bet you have, too.
In this letter to the editor in the Beaver Damn Daily Citizen:
Tom Schmidt Sr., Juneau: Hustisford's electorate voted by more than 75 percent for the politicians who cut funding to public schools by $800 million, namely Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (a Hustisford alumnus). The voters' decision to elect the 'Two Scotts' is going to result in higher property taxes or the likely loss of the high school.
Walker has a plan too, and not so original. Here’s a short look at where privatized public education is headed, and you’ll just love the cast of characters:
Moyers: Douglass Academy founder, a politically active North Carolina businessman named Baker Mitchell, shares the Kochs’ free-market ideals. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls. The schools buy or lease nearly everything from companies owned by Mitchell. Their desks. Their computers. The training they provide to teachers. Most of the land and buildings. Unlike with traditional school districts, at Mitchell’s charter schools there’s no competitive bidding. No evidence of haggling over rent or contracts. 

The schools have all hired the same for-profit management company to run their day-to-day operations. The company, Roger Bacon Academy, is owned by Mitchell. The treasurer of the nonprofit that controls the four schools is also the chief financial officer of Mitchell’s management company. The two organizations even share a bank account. Mitchell’s management company was chosen by the schools’ nonprofit board, which Mitchell was on at the time — an arrangement that is illegal in many other states. 

Many of these companies are becoming political players … Mitchell’s company, have aligned themselves with influential conservative groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Koch-supported American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. This new reality — in which businesses can run chains of public schools — has spurred questions about the role of profit in public education and whether more safeguards are needed to prevent corruption.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scott Walker is a tool of deception and uninformed people buy it hook, line and sinker. This is extreme...but review the impact no-compromise extreme ideologues have had in the world - ISIS, Bin Ladden, Thatcher, Al Assad ect...what has lack of compromise and ethics taken those who they rule??? Poverty, violence, reduced or nullified education rights,and vilification of innocent well intentioned civilians. Don't let Scott Walker do the same to WI for another 4 years. Don't let his fiscal irresponsibility add MILLIONS more to our deficit under Walker's watch. Don't let a college drop out determine YOUR child or grandchild ' s education. ACT. VOTE and take BACK a Wisconsin we can be proud of!