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“We’re going to fight this:” Public schools up in arms over Gov. Walker’s state budget

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Proposals in Governor Scott Walker's state budget have local leaders and public school system advocates up in arms.

The underlying theme was our schools, our solution.

"We're the ones who should decide how to fix the public schools," said Kim Schroeder, with Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association.

Hundreds of parents, educators, students and community members gather in the auditorium at MATC in support of public schools.

"Public schools are under attack," said Schroeder.

Some of the backlash comes from Governor Scott Walker's speech Tuesday night as he detailed proposed laws in the Wisconsin state budget.

"Today, I am excited to announce our plans to lift the cap on vouchers. Every child deserves the chance to succeed," said Governor Scott Walker.

But these folks feel the majority of children now won't succeed. While Walker plans to expand the school voucher program, op opposers see that as an attack on public schools, which will lose funding when students go to voucher schools.

"The governor proposal to lift the cap on vouchers will prove detrimental, not only public schools in Milwaukee, but public schools across the entire state. It totally divorces the students, it was meant to help which is low income students to help provide an alternative to them," said Democratic State Representative, Mandela Barnes.

Less money will impact the students in many ways.

"Classroom sizes will grow once again. Resources are being taken away, we're fighting to improve public school with parents and students -- we want to offer bilingual education," Schroeder.

Saturday, State Representative Mandela Barnes announced he's currently drafting a community schools bill.

"A community school is a school that addresses the needs of students individually who are facing the most severe issues students that need assistance with mental health, physical health, poverty support, parental leadership supports," said Barnes.

The goal is to empower parents and students and provide a well-rounded education that extends beyond the bell.

"We're going to fight this and we're going to fight it hard," said Schroeder.

Several advocacy workshops were held during today's session.

Barnes says he hopes to introduce the bill soon, and with republican support.


  • A Yooper

    Bilingual education? sure it is good but learn English first. I lost out a career advancement solely because I was not fluent in Spanish. Learn English. .

    • samii j

      Hmm lets think about that one. . would you rather have someone who knows 2 or 1. Like you said you lost out, so wouldn’t you recommend schools teach this. It’s only our countrys’ second language.. And job opportunity goes so much farther when you’re bilingual. I literally know a 11 year old who knows english, spanish, sign, and now working on learning Arabic. I told her learn as many as you can and i gaurentee you’ll be making good money. I’m currently takng the time to learn spanish because i know it will help me in future work fields. Some adults are just lazy and don’t want to take the time to learn. They would rather make excuses.

  • janelle

    I do not like Rep. Mandela Barnes. He is a power hungry politician with no real work experience. He doesn’t respond to his constituents.

  • Cheri

    Yes, that sounds like the Democrats at it again… “Lets fight this”.. oh yes like you did last time by costing the TAX PAYERS a TON of money with your joke of a recall attempt.. oh but that’s OK to abuse tax payer funds right? Oh ya and you “Educators” (use the term loosely here) think it’s “OK” to also drag the students into your political agendas and force them into protesting as well – all in an attempt to secure your own overpaid-wages. Everyone can see through your nonsense Democrats… not fooling me! And the post by Janelle is right about Barnes, hit the nail on the head there.

  • Hell in a handbasket

    This is a very bias report. A lot of liberal opinions and no counterpoint from the other side. Derica Williams appears qualified to work at MSNBC.

  • grunt

    The MTEA member thinks the teachers’ union should be part of the solution. They were part of the problem.
    Why are they so against black children getting scholarships to attend good schools?

    • Pete

      The idea is to have good public schools, not an enrollment battle for funding. Walker’s agenda will hurt more students (of all races) than it will help in the short term, and will lead to even worse public schools until our entire education system is privatized in the long term. But sure, borrow $1.3 billion for roads and $220 million for the Bucks while a majority of students see a diminished education. Good work governor.

  • Captain Poopypants

    “We’re the ones who should decide how to fix the public schools,” said Kim Schroeder, with Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

    Yeah, sure.

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