Wisconsin Residents Oppose Budget Cuts that Would Damage Wisconsin’s Schools and Universities
The damaging budget cuts proposed by Governor Walker have very little support among Wisconsin residents, a new poll from Marquette University shows.
People in Wisconsin are particularly opposed to cutting resources for students in public schools. According to the poll:
- Nearly 8 out of 10 Wisconsin residents oppose the $127 million budget cut Governor Walker has proposed for Wisconsin public schools. This cut would come on top of already dramatic reductions in resources for public schools that have already occurred.
- Most people oppose removing the cap on the number of students that can attend private school on publicly-funded tuition vouchers. The expansion of the voucher program would reduce resources available for students that remain in the public schools and increase state spending on vouchers by $17 million over two years.
- Most people think it is more important for Wisconsin to increase resources for public schools than it is to reduce property taxes.
Wisconsin residents oppose other budget cuts proposed by the Governor as well:
- Seven out of 10 people in Wisconsin oppose cutting $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget, a move that would make it more difficult for students to graduate on time and limit the ability of the university system to bring in outside research money.
- More people oppose the proposed change that would eliminate state prescription drug assistance for seniors, which would cost seniors using the program an average of $700 a year.
The poll shows that Wisconsin residents are dissatisfied with the budget proposed by the Governor, and instead want a budget that invests in Wisconsin and its residents. The budget is now under consideration by the legislature, and lawmakers have an opportunity to listen to their constituents and pass a budget that strengthens, not weakens, Wisconsin’s schools, public university, and health care system.
To avoid the worst of the budget cuts proposed by the Governor, lawmakers don’t need to increase taxes – they only need to stop the growth of tax cuts already in place and accept federal money for health care improvements. The Wisconsin Budget Project has released a summary showing how the lawmakers could free up nearly $800 million in revenue without raising taxes. A more detailed version of the alternate budget can be found here.
In opposing the Governor’s budget cuts, Wisconsin residents show they want to support the healthy families, safe and stable communities, and well-educated workforce that are critical to helping Wisconsin remain an attractive place to live, raise families, and do business. Lawmakers should follow the lead of Wisconsin residents and pass a budget that builds on Wisconsin’s long history of making the kinds of investments in schools and communities that can create broad-based prosperity.