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Evers, Dems unhappy with education funding in Gov. Walker's budget


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State public school superintendent Tony Evers says the governor’s proposed budget does not help schools which are struggling to make ends meet.

Evers says the Legislature should consider spending at least $225 more per student.

Republican Governor Scott Walker did propose a one-percent increase in state school aid. But he refused to let schools automatically increase their revenue limits – and he’s giving the money to property taxpayers who will have the choice of giving it to their schools by approving revenue cap exemptions.

On Tuesday, voters in nearly a half-dozen Wisconsin school districts approved such exemptions. Rhinelander voters agreed to give their schools an extra $4 million over the next three years.

Senate Democrat Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse said it should be up to the government to restore school funds that were cut two years ago. In her words, “It’s time to renew our commitment to our children’s future.”

But Republicans say the state’s doing exactly that, by giving parents in districts with failing schools the option to use tax-funded vouchers to send their kids to private schools.

Senate GOP finance chair Alberta Darling said those children cannot wait. But other Republicans have problems with parts of the Walker school choice plan.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the package has, “a lot of moving parts” – but he believes some expansion will be passed.