Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers discussed school funding in an interview while his opponent and Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker also vowed to restore the state’s commitment to cover school costs Monday.
Evers has campaigned for the past two months to restore a state promise that would cover two-thirds of school costs. In a WisconsinEye interview, Evers discussed the need to prioritize funding for the Wisconsin public school system.
“In order for us to have a high-quality education system in the state of Wisconsin, we’re going to have to set priorities. But we will also be using the tax levy credit that normally goes to schools indirectly, we’re going to make sure they get it directly,” Evers said in the interview.
Walker also said he will restore the same promise in an interview with conservative radio show host Jay Weber on WISN-AM Monday. His campaign did not release any other details about what this plan would look like.
Evers said if the state legislature can find funds for Foxconn projects, they can surely come up with a way to fund two-thirds of public school costs.
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“There’ve been asterisks after every decision that they’ve made,” Evers said about Foxconn. “My goal as governor is to make sure that they’re the best corporate citizens possible.”
Shifting to higher eduction, specifically theUniversity of Wisconsin System budget, Evers did not support extending the tuition freeze that Walker has put in place for the past six years for residents. Instead, he said he wants to put enough money in the system so that the overall budget can be reduced.
He added that it’s important that the Board of Regents articulate their expectations of the state government when creating budgets.
Evers also said that the basic issues important to Wisconsinites, regardless of political affiliation, are all connected — especially when it comes to an impact on a student’s ability to learn.
“Mobility of students really impacts a student’s learning,” Evers said. “Poverty, evictions, making sure that they have good transportation — all those things are part of solving the achievement gap, but also solving some major issues in the state of Wisconsin in an above education.”
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Evers also voiced his opposition to Act 10 — a budget repair bill enacted by Walker. While Evers recognized that the repeal may not be put into place right away, he said he still sees the importance of giving teachers and public employees a voice in the workplace.
Evers added that Act 10, among other policy decisions made by Walker, have hurt the state.
“We have two completely different visions of the future and mine is one that is bringing people together — solving problems that the people of Wisconsin have articulated,” Evers said.