Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Exciting Budget

There's a lot to look at in Gov. Walker's proposed budget.  One of the exciting aspects are the changes to education.

The advancement of the school voucher program is something I've been in favor of for quite a few years.  There are still some questions I have and some changes that need to be discussed.

The "funding flaw" needs to be fixed and not incrementally. With the expansion of the program to Milwaukee County I see this as a very strong probability.

Along with this, the per student reimbursement needs to be addressed. Even if it is raised by 25% it will be substantially less that what the state pays for public education. The argument here is two fold.  Why are choice students only worth $6,400 while students who are enrolled in public education are worth $13,000?  With union teachers fighting for their rights should they not support the per student increase so that their teaching brethren can be paid on par with the unionized teachers?

One of the miscalculations I made when running for office was the expected support of the choice parents in my assembly district.  I was absolutely surprised to find out that the voucher program was essentially politically uninvolved.  I would hope that with the proposed changes, the new parents would jump start this aspect of parents rights.

There will be lots more to talk about in the coming months as we look deeper into the budget and we'll be engaged in the discussion, hoping to expand the issues beyond the obvious points.

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