Breaking: Pre-Election Video Found of Walker Promising to "Keep Intact" State Aid to Schools | WisCommunity

Breaking: Pre-Election Video Found of Walker Promising to "Keep Intact" State Aid to Schools

It has been recently discovered by the Upitty Wisconsin research department that a couple of months before the election, Scott Walker told Here and Now's Frederica Freyberg that he wouldn't cut state aid to public schools.

In fact, first Walker mocks former Governor Doyle for calling himself the "pro-education" governor when he cut hundreds of millions out of public education:

Freyberg: How do you avoid steep cuts in education?  Obviously the biggest piece of the state budget...

Walker: Well, and ironically, the governor, Jim Doyle, who called himself the pro-education governor cut hundreds of millions out of public education.

Then Walker discusses how he would allow school districts to buy into the state insurance plan and reinstate the "QEO" or the Qualified Economic Offer, which existed between 1993 and 2009 and allowed school districts the option of automatically renewing the existing union contract if they agreed to increase total compensation (salary + benefits) by 3.8% per year:

Walker: For me, its not about pouring more money in, its allowing schools school districts at the local level to better spend the money they have, giving them back reasonable caps on wage and benefit compensation for school district employees, making sure there are no more state mandates that are unfunded or under-funded and pulling back on those that are there.

Freyberg then follows-up and asks Walker if that will prevent cuts to public education:

Freyberg: Does that prevent cuts, in your mind, to public education?

Walker: Well, I think it allows us to keep on track... the key for us, you know there are costs to continue and many school districts will point to that, but I think that allows us to keep intact the committment the state has made to public education all accross the state of Wisconsin.

In other words, what Walker is saying is that he won't cut state aid to schools like Doyle did, but he won't put "more money" into state aid either-- that he will give the school districts back the QEO and let them buy-in into the state health insurance plan to cut their costs.

Now, of course, neither of these things proposed by Walker were warmly accepted by the teachers union before the election, but restoring the QEO, which has essentially been the status quo for the last 20 years and letting school districts go to the state insurance system are a far, far cry from what Walker proposed after the election:   Walker not only went back on his promise to keep state aid "intact," he made the deepest cuts to education in state history.  And while it is true that most states had to make some cuts to education, Walker's cuts were the deepest in the nation. 

Now, previously Kathleen Falk has brought up that Walker has gone back on his campaign promise to increase state school aid from 63% to 66%, but by saying that "Falk’s critique of Walker fails to note that before election day he signalled it may not be possible to be able to move back to two-thirds funding in the first year."  (And, of course, the Journal-Sentinel "covered" this huge bait and switch by burying it in the minutia of a back page Politifact column... and because the JS "coverered it" nobody else in the Wisconsin's media decided to cover it.) 

Here, however, we have evidence, that even if Walker might have given himself wiggle room about the timing of when he would increase state aid, he clearly promised that he would not cut state aid.  That is a fact... maybe not a politifact... but a fact just as well.

If promising to bargain with unions before the election was King Kong of bait and switches, then this must surely be the Godzilla of bait and switches.

And that is why we are having a recall election.  It's an issue of basic fairness:  The product we got when Walker was sworn into office was nothing like the one we were sold in the pre-election showroom floor.



April 11, 2012 - 12:08pm