If anybody was holding out any hope that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would see even a modicum of reason and refuse to savage public education in his state, they can now let it go. A day before jumping into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Walker on Sunday signed a new state budget that, among other things:
* slashes $250 million from the University of Wisconsin, one of the country’s great public institutions of higher education, and ensures that most K-12 school districts will get less funding than they did last year;
* removes from state law tenure protections for University of Wisconsin professors, a move that educators say will seriously harm the school’s ability to retain and attract talented faculty;
* expands the state’s voucher program that uses public funds to pay for tuition at private schools, including religious schools — even though there is no evidence the program has helped improve student achievement in the past — and creates a new “special needs” voucher law that cuts into protections for special needs students.
The Associated Press reported that Walker said in a statement that the budget he signs “brings real reform to Wisconsin and allows everyone more opportunity for a brighter future. ” Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, a Democrat, said in a statement that the budget “throws the people of Wisconsin under Governor Walker’s campaign bus.”
Walker's record in Wisconsin has been awful, but he gives really good speeches or something, so that makes him a "Republican front-runner" or something.
And actually, Walker's austerity economics and massive cuts to education is exactly what Republicans want to do to our nation's public colleges and universities and public schools anyway: trash them to the point of breaking and sell off the pieces to for-profit outfits.
Of course he's going to do well in the GOP primaries.
Not so much in the general, I'm thinking.