State Superintendent’s Claim That School Cuts Are ‘Unsustainable’ Draws Rebuke At Hearing

Rep. Kooyenga Says With Schools, Focus Should Not Be On Money

Courtesy of Wisconsin Public Television

Wisconsin’s State Superintendent told legislators on Tuesday that continued cuts to public school funding were “unsustainable,” a claim that drew a sharp rebuke from one Republican lawmaker.

Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers criticized the governor’s proposal to cut school funding in the first year of his budget and freeze local revenue limits. Rep. Dale Kooyenga shot back.

“There’s this obsession — obsession — with the money. Money, money, money, money. And we should be obsessed with performance and the kids,” said Kooyenga.

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Kooyenga said Wisconsin’s graduation rate and its ACT scores were up over the past four years.

Evers responded that there is “heroic” work being done in Wisconsin schools, but he worries it can’t last.

“I know you hear it from your school districts, too — and I rely on them for that input — that there will be a downward trend if we don’t do something to at least give them some relief this school year,” said Kooyenga.

Other Republicans have indicated they hope to spend more on schools if the state gets new revenue to work with.

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