One thing Scott Walker doesn’t have to worry about: He will never be called the Education Governor.
Walker’s latest budget proposal would slash $300 million over the next two years from the University of Wisconsin system of higher education, which has long been considered one of the crown jewels of the Badger State. That is a 13% decrease in state funding for the university. When asked to defend the cuts, which have been criticized by both educators and the public, Walker shifted the burden of blame to college professors and support staff, saying:
“Maybe it’s time for faculty and staff to start thinking about teaching more classes and doing more work.”
University system officials said the draconian cuts will probably require them to lay off some employees and also raise tuition for students as soon as 2017. Grant Petty, president of the professional group that represents University of Wisconsin-Madison employees, directly addressed Walker’s calls for professors to work more. Petty said faculty already put in at least 50 hours a week on their professional responsibilities as educators. He added:
“As Governor Walker knows from his own family background, a pastor’s job doesn’t start and stop with the Sunday sermon. The same is true of university professors and the classroom.”
Governor Walker, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for President in 2016, has come under fire before. In 2011, his assault on public sector unions sparked massive protests in the state capital of Madison and also led to a recall election which Walker managed to survive.
Walker is considered to be one of the darlings of the far right wing wing of the GOP and also has ties to the Koch brothers and their massive fundraising machine. Oddly, however, Walker himself does not have a college degree, and one is left to wonder if the American people would ever elect a candidate without a diploma from an institution of higher learning.
No matter how Walker fares in 2016, he is once again leading an attack on one of the main pillars of economic development and increasing wages in Wisconsin. Then again, perhaps that was his plan all along.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org