To Protect Federal Funding Republicans Seek to Defund Education
State education and congressional leaders are aghast as Republican Legislators refuse to invest in education and instead give away hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses and the wealthy. Initially, the unprepared Republican legislators plans risked losing $2.3 billion in federal pandemic relief funds, to protect it, now they’ve defunded schools.
WEAC and other state education groups were joined by Democratic U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore, Ron Kind and Mark Pocan in asking state lawmakers to invest in education and protect the Pandemic Relief. Instead, Republicans voted to defund education, skirting the Federal Mainenance of Effort requirement, to instead give huge tax cuts to the businesses and wealthy that have filled their campaign war chests.
“Enough is enough. Our students need these funds to address and improve school safety, air quality, academic achievement, and mental health. It is reckless and dishonorable for legislators to refuse to invest in our children and our future to provide for millionaires and billionaires. We have a duty to our children, and the Republicans in the legislature continue to be derelict in that duty,” said WEAC President Ron Martin.
The Republican budget plan fails to increase state spending on education. After the pandemic, huge new challenges and disparities have been uncovered. Failing to address these through investment puts our future in Jeopardy and harms children. More is needed to better fund special education, make capital investments to improve air and water quality, and to abate aby potential learning loss. The Republican plan considers none of these factors and it is to our state’s shame.
Governor Evers set forth a bold plan to invest in our states future, which Republicans have all but abandoned. “Governor Evers has been a steady leader throughout the pandemic & is working hard to pass his Badger Bounce Back Budget for children, families and workers but Republican legislators are fighting him every step of the way,” Martin said. “Educators must step up to hold our elected officials accountable. Our students are depending on us.” We must support the Governor in whatever steps he must take next.