Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Progressives: Recall Walker for affront to education

Monday night, at locations around the state, hundreds gathered to await midnight, which
would mark the beginning of the collection of more than 500,000 signatures to recall Gov. Scott
Walker. On State Street at Hawk’s Bar and Grill, the air was charged, with chants of “Recall Walker!” and
“This is what democracy looks like!” ringing out frequently.

This effort is the continuation of a fight that Walker began early last spring when he and
the Republican Legislature forced the end of collective bargaining rights for public employee
unions. Since then, his policies have continued to cater to the wealthy and to big business over
individual citizens. He also made cuts to public education from kindergarten to college. His
administration saw passage of a voter ID law that is one of the most restrictive in the country.
His policies have hurt workers, minorities, the elderly, the young, low-income families, the
unemployed and women. In particular, he has shown no inclination to protect some of the most
valuable and vulnerable resources of Wisconsin – its students.

It is undeniable that students of all ages have been deeply affected under the Walker
administration. Cuts of $1.5 billion – the largest cuts to education in the history of Wisconsin – have been forced on children, teachers and parents across the state. A report released by the
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction found that “the biggest cuts were to special
education programs, followed by library and media center staff, reading coordinators, programs
for at-risk youth, and drug and alcohol abuse programs.” As a result of Walker policies, more
than half of Wisconsin’s public school students will learn in larger classes with fewer teachers
and fewer courses offered. Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, called Walker’s cuts to education “simply not a choice Wisconsin’s future can afford.”


We here at the of Wisconsin and other UW System schools, who have long
benefited from a world-class education, have also been hard-hit by a state administration which
will not make this education a priority. Walker administration cuts to education have chopped
over $300 million from the system – and at least $125 million will come out of UW.
UW System spokesman David Giroux responded with dismay, saying, “We do not know how we
can take these cuts without negatively affecting the education of our students and the
expectations of their families for a quality experience.” Students will be forced to bear the brunt
of these costs as we face higher tuition bills, less financial aid, more student debt and fewer
course offerings, with larger class sizes.

This week, in the first days of the formal recall effort, such issues should be foremost in
our minds. The reasons to recall Gov. Walker are endless. They include moral and ethical
failures as well as a refusal to listen to the people of Wisconsin. But Walker’s refusal to support
the rights of students – particularly those who cannot yet stand up for themselves at the ballot
box – flies in the face of the proud history of Wisconsin’s public education system. These
assaults on Wisconsin’s future – whether they come in the form of cuts to our education system,
laws like voter ID that unfairly suppress the vote of students and minorities or attempts to
end the collective bargaining power of Wisconsin’s workers – cannot and will not be allowed to
slip by.

The Young Progressives are proud to be among those organizations working on the
ground to aid in this effort. As the recall continues, you can find us around campus, as well as in
our office on the third floor of the SAC, collecting signatures to recall Gov. Walker and his
lieutenant, Rebecca Kleefisch. Already, just by the second day of sixty days allotted, hundreds of
students have signed recall petitions. Add your name, then meet us on Saturday, Nov. 19 on Library Mall at 11 a.m. to march to Capitol Square, where we will join forces with
thousands from around Wisconsin to take back our state. This is not a time for sitting on the
sidelines. This is a time to stand up and make your voice heard.

Janel Alters,
Executive Officer 

The Young Progressives

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