How we choose to invest in our children is one of the most important and critical parts of our state budget. Each and every one of our kids deserves a school that is fully able to meet their needs, but Walker and legislative Republicans have failed in this task and have instead focused on shifting more tax dollars to private, unaccountable voucher schools.
I strongly believe one of core pillars of what makes Wisconsin a great state is our dedication to a great education system, where every child has access to a quality education. It's such a part of who we are that it's actually in our state Constitution. Wisconsin must renew this value of supporting our local public schools, as it is crucial to strengthening our communities and state. Having strong neighborhood schools benefits everyone. Our kids will have more opportunities to live to their full potential. Even those who don't have children or whose children are grown enjoy the benefits of higher property values and community prosperity that come with having quality local public schools.
With Republicans at an impasse on the state budget that has a looming deadline, my Democratic colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee released a K-12 education plan that invests more than the governor's proposal and lowers property taxes by almost $25 million.
All of our children deserve a quality education. In order to achieve this goal, our schools must be a priority and be adequately and fairly funded. I'm proud to stand with my colleagues in standing up for our kids and fighting for their future.
The Dem education plan:
The Dem education plan also incorporates key voucher accountability pieces from a bill that I introduced last session. We know that our students and neighborhood schools are still struggling to recover from the largest cuts to education in our state's history. The Dem plan recommits and invests in our kids and public schools, but also ensures that every school receiving taxpayer dollars is held to the same standards and accountability.
Under 2015 Senate Bill 3, and included in the JFC education plan, are the following provisions:
As the lead Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Education, I have met with all of the 7th Senate District school districts as well as with educators, experts, other legislators, and advocates in order to come up with legislation that puts our kids on the road to opportunity and prosperity. As a public school parent, I remain committed to ensuring each child gets the education and opportunity they deserve.
In addition to fighting for our children's future to be a priority in the state budget, I have introduced several pieces of pro-public education legislation. For instance: