Saturday, September 16, 2006

Doyle Campaign: Wisconsin Teachers Endorse Governor Doyle

[the following is a press release from Gov. Doyle's deputy press secretary]

Wisconsin Teachers Endorse Governor Doyle

WEAC’s President Stan Johnson: ‘It is Truly Frightening to Think About Where Public Education Would be in Wisconsin Today Without Jim Doyle as Our Governor’

MADISON – The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) – Wisconsin’s largest association of education employees – today endorsed Governor Jim Doyle’s bid for re-election, citing his steadfast commitment over the last four years to ensuring that every Wisconsin child can get a great education.

“Great education starts with great teachers. The First Lady is a teacher, I have stood with teachers my entire career, and I’m proud to stand with them today,” Governor Doyle said.

Governor Doyle’s commitment to public education has been unwavering. Faced with a $3.2 billion budget deficit when he took office, Governor Doyle was able to get Wisconsin’s fiscal house back in order, while protecting our public schools. The Governor balanced two straight budgets without raising taxes, and still made an historic investment in public education – making sure our schools and teachers have the resources they need and lowering the burden on the state’s property taxpayers.

“It is truly frightening to think about where public education would be in Wisconsin today without Jim Doyle as our Governor over the last four years,” said Stan Johnson, President of WEAC. “He has been a true friend of public schools and Wisconsin’s communities and families. For all of these reasons, I will be pleased to formally announce WEAC’s recommendation of Jim Doyle for Governor.”

Governor Doyle has a record of investing in our children’s education.

  • Governor Doyle has made it a priority to maintain the state’s commitment to funding two-thirds of the cost of public education, ensuring that schools are allowed at least a modest increase to deal with inflation and other increased costs. [Source: 2005 Wisconsin Act 25]
  • Governor Doyle stopped Republicans in the Legislature from making a $400 million cut to education that would have put thousands of teachers out of work, forced the elimination of arts and foreign languages classes, increased class sizes, and put our children’s education at risk. [Source: 2005 Wisconsin Act 25]
  • Governor Doyle has proposed new legislation to raise standards by requiring a third year of math and science for all high school graduates so that Wisconsin kids will remain competitive with their peers across the globe. [Source: Governor Doyle 2006 State of the State Address]
  • Governor Doyle, together with the UW System and Technical College System, Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities, and the Department of Public instruction, are implementing the Wisconsin Covenant to put higher education within reach for all eighth graders. [Source: Governor Doyle Release, 9/6/06]
  • Governor Doyle has expanded Advanced Placement classes and Gifted and Talented middle school offerings around the state. [Source: 2005 Wisconsin Act 25]
    Governor Doyle protected four-year-old kindergarten from draconian Republican cuts and has sought to expand the program statewide. About one-third of school districts offered 4K programs when Governor Doyle took office. Now, nearly 55 percent of school districts offer this important program. [Source: 2003 Wisconsin Act 33, Department of Public Instruction]
  • Governor Doyle has increased funding for the SAGE small class size program, pupil transportation, special education, and educating English language learners. [2005 Wisconsin Act 25, Governor Doyle Press Release, 2/17/06]
  • Governor Doyle has sought reforms to the school funding formula to help schools facing declining enrollment, including greater revenue limit flexibility so that schools could retain more of their base revenues even as enrollment declines. The Republicans in the Legislature – many of whom represent rural schools that are declining in enrollment – voted against both of these measures. [Source: 2005 Wisconsin Assembly Bill 25
  • Governor Doyle has twice included in his budget the elimination of the inflexible and counterproductive Qualified Economic Offer, which impedes the state’s ability to attract and retain the best teachers. [Source: 2003 Wisconsin Act 33, 2005 Wisconsin Act 25]

In contrast, Congressman Mark Green has proposed a budget plan that would devastate schools, and proposed a one-size-fits-all education plan that would leave schools, especially those in rural areas, struggling to fund school nurses, school bus maintenance, and school security, and wouldn’t allow them the flexibility to react to emergencies. [Source: Green for Wisconsin Release, 8/14/06]

A national study released last November indicated that the strategy employed in Congressman Green’s education plan would do nothing to raise student achievement. And former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige called the idea "one of the worst ideas in education,” saying it would “tie school leaders' hands at a time when they need more freedom to innovate.” [Source: Standard & Poor's, 11/22/05; New York Times Op-Ed, 6/27/06]

Congressman Green’s record in Congress shows he has been no friend to education.

  • Congressman Green voted against additional funding for special education, reading and math services for low-income students, and the Head Start program. [Source: HR3010, Vote 320, 6/24/05]
  • Congressman Green cast the deciding vote last February to slash federal student aid by more than $12 billion, the largest cut in the program's history. [Source: HRS653, Vote 4, 2/1/06]
  • Congressman Green voted against increases for Pell grants for our neediest students. [Sources: HR2863, Vote 668, 12/18/05; HR3010, Vote 573, 11/8/05; HR3010, Vote 320, 6/24/05]


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