Education Funding State of the States

State of the States 2014: Wisconsin

By Sean Cavanagh — January 28, 2014 1 min read
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Gov. Scott Walker (R)
Date of Speech:
Jan. 22

In a speech to lawmakers that was heavy on economic themes, Gov. Walker also touted his record on education issues during his first term, especially an expansion of vouchers and his controversial push to curb collective-bargaining powers for public workers, including school employees.

The collective-bargaining measure provoked massive protests, opposition from teachers’ unions, and a failed attempt in 2012 to recall Mr. Walker from office. But the governor, in his address, argued that the law is now saving school districts money and giving them more freedom to base personnel decisions on performance.

The governor, who is up for re-election this year and has been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, used the speech to draw a connection between his policies and recent, positive economic signs. He inherited a two-year, $3.6 billion budget deficit upon taking office. The state recently projected a surplus, based mostly on improved tax collections. The governor, in his speech, proposed using some of that money to pay for tax cuts for state residents.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 2014 edition of Education Week as Wisconsin

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