Articles By: Tom Beebe

Projected surplus gives governor, Legislature a chance to make a down-payment on undoing mistakes of the past

Wisconsin has a $900 million budget surplus. In part, and in one of the great injustices in state history, it was built on the backs of over 800,000 children in our public schools. The moral and equitable thing to do is begin fixing the damage that was done to our public schools and at least […]

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Gov. Walker should veto provision to hide voucher school records

Gov. Walker should veto provision to hide voucher school records

So much bad was packed into the 2013-15 budget headed to Governor Scott Walker’s desk that we should start over. From underfunding public schools to expanding the use of taxpayer dollars to fund unaccountable and under-performing private schools, the budget is just full of legislation that is ideologically driven, fiscally irresponsible, and educationally unproven. With […]

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Nothing good happened at JFC all-nighter for Wisconsin’s public schools

Nothing good happened at JFC all-nighter for Wisconsin’s public schools

Nothing good happens in Wisconsin’s Capitol between bar time and breakfast. Majority members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) proved that last Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning by passing a budget that puts devotion to political dogma ahead of the futures of our children. What we got when the locked doors opened […]

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Fund public schools, not entitlements for voucher and for-profit charter schools

Fund public schools, not entitlements for voucher and for-profit charter schools

Guest blog by Bambi Statz, PhD In 2000, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court established an

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Use revenue increase to fully fund Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools

Use revenue increase to fully fund Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools

Wisconsin now projects a healthy increase in revenue over the next two years.  Those hundreds of millions of dollars in

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Wisconsin’s grandparents understand that vouchers don’t work

Wisconsin’s grandparents understand that vouchers don’t work

Grandparents understand the importance of funding public schools, too.   Wisconsin is marching inexorably down a path toward two separate publicly funded education systems for our K-12 students. One is our traditional public schools; the other, private voucher schools largely funded by taxpayer dollars. The school voucher program began in 1990 under Gov. Tommy Thompson […]

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Private school voucher expansion: A growing taxpayer-funded entitlement

by John Forester Many observers have called Gov.Scott Walker’s proposal to expand private school vouchers bad education policy.  I agree. Today I would like to address voucher expansion from the perspective of fiscal policy. If voucher advocates are successful in expanding private school vouchers in this budget, vouchers will eventually become one of the largest […]

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Governor Walker’s bait-and-switch budget has nothing new for public school children

Governor Walker’s bait-and-switch budget has nothing new for public school children

Question: When is $129 million not $129 million? Answer: When it is the additional aid Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker promised to send to the state’s public schools. Despite the Governor’s claimed increase for 2013-15─an anemic and inadequate one percent even if true─it is really only $39 million …. a paltry half-percent increase or $44.83 per […]

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Governor’s budget starves public schools while choice schools prosper

Governor’s budget starves public schools while choice schools prosper

In an unusual Sunday morning release, Governor Scott Walker unveiled a funding proposal for K-12 public education that will weaken schools and diminish opportunities for students. “Two years ago the Governor took $1.6 billion in educational opportunities away from kids,” said Tom Beebe, project director of Opportunity to Learn-Wisconsin. “Those tragic cuts came on the […]

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Central Wisconsin school funding reform community group gains support from around the state

Central Wisconsin school funding reform community group gains support from around the state

Stevens Point  – School Funding Reform for Wisconsin, a grassroots community organization based in Stevens Point, is continuing its challenge to state legislators to change the way Wisconsin’s public schools are funded. “Last month we urged state legislators to approve and enact Superintendent Evers’ plan asking all state legislators to respond to a set of […]

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Education leaders call on state to renew Wisconsin’s commitment to public schools

Education leaders call on state to renew Wisconsin’s commitment to public schools

The upcoming release of the governor’s proposed state budget draws our attention to the future, and in particular that of Wisconsin’s children. As a state we have valued a tradition of offering educational opportunities to all of our students, whatever their circumstances or dreams might be. What our past has taught us and what we […]

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State-of-the-state takes us on a wild ride through the looking glass

State-of-the-state takes us on a wild ride through the looking glass

Have you ever felt that you fell through the looking glass hand-in-hand with Alice to a place where up is down, north is really south, and wrong is actually right? If you watched, heard, or read about been frustrating at best. Schools are expected to meet all the needs of our children that society and […]

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We can strengthen public schools by providing all kids the opportunities they need to learn

We can strengthen public schools by providing all kids the opportunities they need to learn

This is a guest blog by Angelina Cruz, a teacher in the Racine Unified School District. We live in an era in which the perceptions of public education have been formed based upon political ideologues bent on reform by means of accountability measures. These accountability measures in large part tie both school and teacher performance […]

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It just isn’t a waterbed if there isn’t any water in it

It just isn’t a waterbed if there isn’t any water in it

Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been touting his balanced budget and the surplus money he put into a rainy day fund. I have a hard time celebrating this news as the Janesville school district continues to face dire economic issues …. rainy day fund or no Governor is promising to deliver less. Can we work with less? […]

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Wisconsin’s public schools are drowning; No better time to use the Rainy Day Fund

Wisconsin’s public schools are drowning; No better time to use the Rainy Day Fund

The Wisconsin Department of Administration recently sent out a press release praising Gov. Scott Walker for his leadership in making the “largest deposit to our Rainy Day Fund in state history.” You can read the 64 percent of Wisconsin’s school districts will still receive less school aid than they did the previous year.  There is […]

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