People in Assembly District 23 often tell me they moved here for the District’s great public schools. I know we did. As parents, we are involved in our schools, know the board members and committees, and attend school meetings. This district has arguably the best collection of school systems in the state. Whitefish Bay, Nicolet, Homestead and Grafton high schools all excel. The first three see themselves as competing for scholastic supremacy, and Grafton has an automotive curriculum so fine it won a national competition in 2018.
But suddenly teachers are scarce or leaving. Languages, the arts, and various specialists are underfunded. Prevention programs are cut, at the same time some Republican leaders want our teachers to carry guns. We need to teachers, and we need them to teach.
Wisconsin’s public schools are no longer adequately funded. Republicans have politicized our schools, siphoning off public school funding to support other types of schools, without holding those alternative schools accountable. At the university level, our UW system has endured many cuts, leading to lost research grants and recognition. If this continues we will continue to lose the best and brightest, both teachers and students.
Education is the vehicle for each new generation to surpass the last, and we must return to Wisconsin’s heritage of quality public education for all. With few exceptions, public funds should go toward public school needs. Treating teachers with respect will stabilize our schools and bring our best and brightest back into the profession. Funding our university system is also a must.
If we have the will to provide additional funds for education, we will find a way.