Walker Snubs Local School Boards

The following is a letter to the editor written by Doug Perry, a school board member in South Milwaukee. Prior to his retirement, Doug was the president of the Greenfield Education Association.

Governor Walker’s Snub of the WASB and the Children They Represent

As a citizen school board member from South Milwaukee I am insulted and embarrassed—for my constituents and the children in my district—by the refusal of our incumbent Governor to talk about our shared core value of public education.

School board members across Wisconsin rely on the nonpartisan Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) to bring us up to date on information about current issues through our magazine, Wisconsin School News. The October issue in an election year includes a section comparing and contrasting the views of the gubernatorial candidates.

This October’s issue included an article entitled Walker v. Burke http://wasb.org/websites/wisconsin_school_news/index.php?p=261—includes 12 relevant questions and answers to assist school board members when considering how each candidate for governor will support and promote public schools.

I anxiously awaited both candidates’ responses to important questions about school funding, student achievement, technology, Common Core state standards, vouchers, and child poverty in our Wisconsin communities.

How disappointed I was. Even though Mary Burke thoroughly answered the questions, our sitting governor’s response was that “our campaign will not be completing any interest group surveys or interviews.” http://wasb.org/websites/wisconsin_school_news/File/2014_October/burke_walker.pdf

So the WASB, which is a member-driven organization of 424 communities that supports, promotes and advances the interests of public education in Wisconsin, is now an “interest group”? Has this organization of dedicated, democratically elected people not earned the time and/or attention of our sitting governor to discuss these important topics?

Public education is mandated within Article X of the Wisconsin State Constitution and it comprises the largest line item in our state’s budget. Our public schools are the heart and soul of every community in the state. The Governor should be obligated to answer to school board members, voters and taxpayers, and—most importantly—the 800,000-plus public school children in our cities, towns, and villages.

Never before has a candidate refused to answer questions posed by the WASB for this publication. In fact, four years earlier Scott Walker answered them with apparent glee. http://www.wasb.org/websites/wisconsin_school_news/File/2010/october/their_views_for_public_education.pdf

I am dismayed, disappointed, and upset that the Chief Executive of our great state has decided to “sit this one out.” It begs the question, why didn’t he answer these questions? Is there something about his views and goals for public education that he does not want the electorate to know before the election?

This isn’t how our great representative democracy works.

Douglas K. Perry

Back to top
Back to Front Page

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on October 22, 2014

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks