The Honorable Senator Luther Olsen
The Honorable Senator Mark Miller
The Honorable Representative Gary Hebl
The Honorable Representative Joe Parisi
Thank you for taking the time today to allow me to express my concerns about the impact of the Governor’s 2011-13 budget on education in the Monona Grove School District and the state of Wisconsin.
As I noted to some of you, according to the website //www.usgovernmentspending.com, K-12 education spending in Wisconsin over the past decade has shrunk from 4.5% of GDP in 1990 to 4.05% in 2010. In other words the education “piece of the pie” has shrunk more than 12% in a little over 10 years. To the dubious extent that Wisconsin is “broke” it is certainly not the fault of public education.
Those of us involved with public education don’t need to be told of this statistic because it has become part of our way of life: Year after year we adjust and cut, increase class sizes here, reduce a student service there, and always defer maintenance of our infrastructure. At the same time our ability to compensate qualified staff has increasingly slipped behind inflation. On top of the corrosion over the last decade I fear the significant cuts in the proposed budget will do irreparable damage to our schools. Wisconsin is known for one of the best education systems in the country (although it admittedly has problems), but the proposed budget now places that system and our reputation at risk.
Please contact me for additional information or if I can be of any assistance.
Member, Monona Grove School Board