walker_wavesMADISON - The Governor’s speech last night was long on campaign-speak and light on details.

What specifics we learned mean a tough road ahead for local schools, the UW and our children who will inherit increased state debt.

Taking the cap off private schools getting state dollars means less money for our public schools. Property taxes will go up in many parts of the state as schools hobble from referendum to referendum.

The twin actions of cutting UW funds and cutting the UW loose will mean fewer opportunities and higher tuition for students.

Professors who leave the system take their grant money with them- leaving fewer resources for student research and fewer professors mean students don’t have courses they need to graduate in four years.

Once a big part of state government - like the UW - is cut loose, strong constituencies will fight to keep it private. We are at risk of losing the central focus of our ‘public’ universities – to serve the public.

In this budget the Governor learned you can’t give money away and then have that money to pay bills. The election year ‘surplus’ quickly turned into red ink. Now, Wisconsin doesn’t have money to pay important bills - like the UW system and local schools.