Lack of state funds spur referendums — William Hartje

Lack of state funds spur referendums — William Hartje

Sunday’s front page article “School districts turn to taxpayers for help” was on point. It was about school districts turning to referendums.

Republicans in the Legislature have declared war on public education for the last 12 years. They say they have underfunded public schools because the schools are “failing.” Actually, schools are struggling because they are underfunded.

The 166 school referendums put before voters this year include 81 for the Nov. 8 ballot and is the highest number since 2001 as more Wisconsin schools turn to voters to keep the lights on.

With a $4.3 billion surplus, plenty of money is available to help schools. Gov. Tony Evers wants to do that and has a plan. Republicans such as gubernatorial challenger Tim Michels and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, instead want to have more tax cuts (no doubt tilted toward the wealthy like them and the donors to their campaigns). They instead want to expand school choice to shift taxpayer money to private schools.

Public schools in rural areas need to survive and prosper so their children are ready for the world. These schools are often the heart of their communities. Voters in rural schools should ask where those private schools are that their children can go to.

Referendums put the burden on the property taxpayer — state money primarily comes from the income tax. Rural voters need to quit voting for Republicans who jeopardize the future of their children and communities. 

William Hartje, Evansville 

Follow along as State Journal cartoonist Phil Hands draws a cartoon about Aaron Rodgers’ new contract with the Green Bay Packers

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