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April 1, 2020

3/3/2020 10:11:00 AM
They need to listen

Dear Editor:
Do our Republican legislators know that for rural Wisconsin and small towns, the public school is the heart and soul of the community? Do they know that underfunded schools leave our small towns damaged and vulnerable to collapse? Do they know that losing our local public schools demoralizes and diminishes the entire area and puts our children on hours-long bus rides to another community?
At Sen. Marklein's listening session in Richland Center a number of people expressed their desire that a portion of the projected $452 million biennium surplus be used, as Gov. Ever's proposed, to provide $130 million to K-12 education. Sen. Marklein left the session early to go to the Joint Finance Committee to vote. And how did he vote? He voted along party lines to use the surplus to cut income taxes by an average of $106 annually, implement a $45 million personal property tax cut for businesses, and use $100 million to pay down debt - nothing, not a cent for schools.
OK, I know the Republican plan is to destroy public education and replace it with private schools, that has been on their agenda for a very long time. A recent study shows that Wisconsin will have invested $3.9 billion less in its public schools than if education funding had remained at 2011 levels.
One Republican legislator said of the Joint Finance Committee's action, "I'd call this whole package the economic stimulus package of 2020." But do Republican legislators not know that you can't run a business out of a dying town regardless of a business tax cut? Do they not know that many of us would gladly turn over our $106 annual income tax cut to save our schools and protect our communities? Evidently not - but they would if they listened.

Sincerely
William Cary
Richland Center, WI 53581





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