Former teacher and Assembly Democrat Mandy Wright from Wausau says the legislature had a chance to move on some recommendations from the report but majority Republicans said no.
Wright was a member of the bipartisan Speakers Task Force on Rural Schools.
She says she agrees with most of report, a couple she disagrees with, but she says the report was written in good faith. But she says the report is not specific on how to make changes. She says educators were clear what their needs are....
"....to me it is inexcusable that we don't have specific plans that we're putting forward and that we didn't actually pass them last session...."
Wright says bills were introduced concerning large districts with sparse enrollment, a rural teacher loan forgiveness bill, and addressing overall K-12 funding. She says all three were shot down on straight party-line votes....
"...that is really a disingenuous claim on the Republican part. We had very clear bills...we offered them up...we tried to work with the majority party, they voted them down. In the end this is just kicking the can down the road....."
Wright says she especially concerned about the expansion of a voucher system in Wisconsin, where public tax money goes to private schools. She says Republicans have advocated taking all the caps off voucher spending. Wright says at that point wealthier parents will be getting state tax money to send kids to private schools while damaging the public school system. She says there also has been a proposal to privatize the public charter schools then take away funding for them.