There is no way to sugar coat this, and there is no possible way Governor Scott Walker can spin this news. He recently wrote that he "promotes education," in reference to signing his budget, and no words could be more appalling, or more aligned with blatant lies. There is no Governor in the United States more out of touch with reality, as evidenced by that statement. The truth, however, came crashing down in Wisconsin today. This truth is a direct result of the actions and decisions of Governor Scott Walker. Here is the truth:
According to CNN, "In a budget-cutting move likely to be echoed around the country, Milwaukee Public Schools said Wednesday it will lay off 519 staff members -- including 354 teachers -- because of $84 million in state cuts and the system's efforts to control costs." Superintendent Gregory Thornton, again through CNN, "said schools will likely see larger class sizes and the continued use of older textbooks," and went on to say, "Children are being caught in the middle. They deserve better."
Is this "promoting education?" Is this giving each and every child in Wisconsin the best chance to succeed? The answer is No, and it doesn't matter what Walker says or writes. Children, just as Thorton said, are being caught in the middle. Walker began his attack on teachers, and now his actions have brought in the students. This is beyond a travesty. Those kinds of massive cuts will be devastating to a school district, and will be felt for some time. Class size will balloon, making for less one-on-one time with teachers, new text books and technology will be limited, and in many budget cases, electives and extra-curricular activities are put on the chopping block. Electives are a means for some to be set on a career path, and extra-curricular activities teach invaluable lessons, but with Walker's decisions, all of this could be gone.
Governor Scott Walker put the budget burden on the the backs of the teachers and public employees, and put the harshest funding cuts on the backs of students, all while giving additional tax breaks to corporations and big business. The injustice is horrific.
His policies and legislation have torn Wisconsin apart. His words have pitted people against each other. He has demeaned those in the education and university system, and has used fear and lies to move his supporters.
Politics has gotten in the way of the well-being of a child. The profit margins of a corporation have trumped the value of education, and his attack on political opponents has decreased the availability of opportunities for each and every student in Wisconsin.
It is truly a sad day for everyone in Wisconsin. There is no victory, no hooray, but silence, and sadness.
Tomorrow, however, is a new day. The sun will rise, and the fire inside the good people of Wisconsin needs to fuel corrective actions to restore Wisconsin to what it once was. Wisconsin is better than this, and deserves so much better. One word will help turn the tide, and that word is RECALL.