State Superintendent candidates met in December to discuss combining campaign efforts. Five school districts, including Green Bay, serve 165,000 public school kids in Wisconsin.
MADISON - On February 15, 2017 news reports broke that State Superintendent candidates John Humphries and Lowell Holtz met in December of 2016 to discuss the possibility of combining their campaign efforts in exchange for well compensated positions within the Department of Public Instruction following the spring election.
While the who said what details of those discussions appear to be in dispute between the two men, both provided documentation of their encounter to the Wisconsin State Journal that outlined the complete takeover of Wisconsin's 5 largest school districts.
Green Bay Area Public Enrollment: 21,035 students
Kenosha Enrollment: 22,357 students
Madison Metropolitan Enrollment: 27,304 students
Milwaukee Public Schools Enrollment: 75,766 students
Racine Unified Enrollment:19,494 students
The new position outlined in Humphries' and Holtz's proposal would have or seek the following unprecedented authority:
Unchecked power to break up the school districts
Unilateral discretion to change the school boards when"deemed necessary"
Complete rule making authority for the school districts
These five school districts combined serve 165,000 public school kids in Wisconsin. All five have elected school boards, chosen by Wisconsin voters, who are responsible for overseeing the districts.
The following is a statement from Tony Evers for State Superintendent Campaign Manager, Amanda Brink:
"Voters across Wisconsin will head to the polls on Tuesday for the spring primary. They deserve to know beforehand the details of Humphries and Holtz's plot to takeover our five largest school districts.
"This plan, if implemented, will impact almost 20 percent of the public school kids in Wisconsin, and would strip away parents and community member's rights to weigh in on their local districts.
"This is a massive power grab. It isn't a conversation that can be simply brushed aside. This is a proposal for a heavy handed, top-down approach struck through a backroom deal between a few unnamed business leaders and two politicians looking out for their own financial interests.
MADISON - Governor Scott Walker says he plans to incorporate funding relief for rural schools into his 2017-19 biennial budget.
Unfortunately, Governor Walker’s announcement amounts to a drop in the bucket and pales in comparison to three budgets of school cuts, totaling $1 billion.
Overall state aid, including the categorical aids noted today, was less per pupil in our most recent school year than it was six years ago because of aid diverted to private schools. And property taxpayers are having to make up the difference.
Northern schools, and Northern property taxpayers, have taken the brunt of budget cuts to our schools. Districts have had to go to taxpayers time and again to make up for deep cuts.
Even worse – more diversions of state aid to unaccountable voucher and charter schools have put a hole in the bucket. Tax dollars that should be coming home are sent to private charter schools before our local public schools are even considered.
Wisconsin taxpayers who work for a living will give $27 million to the statewide voucher industry this year alone.
Instead of congratulating themselves on taking baby steps, it’s time for Republican leaders to plug the hole that is draining local schools that have been the foundations of our communities in the North for generations.
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby
Friday, 27 January 2017 11:54
State Superintendent candidate Humphries took his privatization crusade further Thursday, announcing details to shift more resources to unaccountable private voucher schools and convert public neighborhood schools to them.
MADISON - A strong public education system is key to opening the doors of opportunity for millions of Wisconsinites. But right-wing State Superintendent candidate John Humphries is deadset on privatizing Wisconsin public schools and leaving students, parents, and educators behind.
Humphries first rolled out a new report card system that gave most schools in Wisconsin an 'F' in academics, including his own Dodgeville School District where Humphries spent the last five years as an administrator. Today, Humphries took his privatization crusade a step further, announcing details to shift more resources to unaccountable private voucher schools and outlining his plan to convert public neighborhood schools to private voucher schools.
"For decades, Wisconsin's economy and its residents benefited from a strong public education system based on excellent educators, motivated parents, and communities working together to provide our children with the preparation they need to be successful in life," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said on Thursday. "John Humphries doesn't understand that and instead he is doing the bidding of wealthy right-wing special interests who seek to make millions on the backs of young Wisconsinites."