Apr 17, 2012

After a blast of smokescreen and dishonesty from Scott Walker’s political machine, a damning new report from the state Department of Public Instruction shows that teacher and staffing cuts caused by the Walker budget are far worse than expected.

This report in totality refutes distorted statements Walker himself has made about how his educational “reforms” are working.

The alarming key findings of the report include proof that Walker’s cuts have caused:

  • 73 percent of school districts in the state reported cutting teachers this year
  • The 1,446 teacher position cuts represents a 75 percent increase over similar reductions made last year
  • 74 percent of school districts to cut staff, including the largest, exorbitant cuts made to reading, special education, career and technical education teachers

The reckless cuts by Walker’s knife were mitigated in part this year thanks to $82.3 million in funds provided by the Obama administration to offset such cuts on the state level: That money will not be available next year.

As Eau Claire Superintendent Dr. Ron Heilmann told the media recently: “Governor Walker doesn’t understand how school financing works.”

“Enacting $2.6 billion in cuts to education to pay for tax breaks to out-of-state corporations has had its intended effect Scott Walker’s disaster budget has resulted in almost 1,500 fewer teachers, larger class sizes and, notoriously, worse outcomes for the children of Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “Scott Walker and his well-funded political machine are trying to spin away what are facts. And the facts are that he has badly damaged public education in Wisconsin. They all must be held accountable for pursuing a narrow ideology for their corporate puppetmasters in a way that directly puts Wisconsin’s families and future at risk.”

Note: The data used for this report is collected from all school districts and is used to fulfill various federal reporting requirements.

Read the Department of Public Instruction Report here.