Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Walker’s budget seeks to kill La Follette’s legacy, the Wisconsin Idea (UPDATED)

Gov. Walker's attacks on education continues

UPDATE: Walker backs off, won't remove/change Wisconsin Idea. Original post below.


Budgets are moral documents. That’s a sentiment I strongly believe in. On paper, sure, it’s a lot of dollar signs and convoluted numbers, but the nuts and bolts of any budget tells us where our priorities are at.

It’s true for any budget. A family’s budget might say we’re going to allocate some money towards saving a car, but we’re also going to put money away to save for our child’s education. The priority of that budget looks towards the future, of leaving open the possibilities of a better life for the next generation.

It’s clear that the same set of priorities isn’t on the mind of Gov. Scott Walker.

When discussing his budget in previous days, Walker made it known that he was shifting priorities away from the University of Wisconsin System in order to help pay for a $287 million budget deficit.

Last night Walker finally unveiled the details of his budget plan. On top of the stifling cuts to the UW System, Walker plans on changing a bedrock principle of the state: the Wisconsin Idea.

Per the Center for Media and Democracy:
Walker's executive budget (see below) amends Sec. 1111 of the statutes to remove language specifying that the UW system has a public service mission to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campus" and to "serve and stimulate society." He strikes language ensuring that the mission of the UW is to extend "training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition," as well as the language specifying that "the search for truth" is "basic to every purpose of the system."
UW Chancellor Becky Blank, on her Twitter account, made it clear that she supported keeping the Wisconsin Idea intact.

Walker wants to remove all things progressive from the state of Wisconsin. He went after unions. He’s attacking higher education. What will Walker attack next?

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