Boots & Sabers

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0955, 11 Feb 16

Act 10 – Five Years Later

MacIver Institute is kicking off a month of celebration. I don’t think Healy is overstating just how important Act 10 was for Wisconsin.

“Act 10 has proven to be one of the most important public policy ideas ever introduced in Wisconsin and clearly the most successful,” said Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute. “Big labor and its special-interest allies all tried to scare the Wisconsin public, claiming the sky would fall if Act 10 passed. They were wrong, and Wisconsinites deserve special credit for standing up to the labor bosses and seeing through their lies.”

“Wisconsin taxpayers owe Governor Walker and the legislators who voted for Act 10 a special debt of gratitude for all the abuse they took,” Healy continued. “If Governor Walker and the Republican legislators had not stood their ground, if they had not blocked out the threats and verbal abuse from the professional protesters, the Wisconsin taxpayer would be billions of dollars worse off today – billions of dollars!”

“Now, thanks to Act 10, government employees in Wisconsin contribute a modest amount towards their health insurance and their retirement,” Healy said. “School districts can competitively bid out their health insurance business, personnel decisions are based on merit instead of seniority, and teachers with expertise in sought-after fields are seeing a greater demand for their services and their salaries are on the rise.”

“That’s why we’re celebrating February 11 – March 11 as ‘Wisconsin Taxpayer Appreciation Month.’ That time of turmoil yielded a long period of budgetary calm that Wisconsinites will enjoy for as long as they continue to elect fiscally responsible leaders,” Healy said.


0955, 11 February 2016


  1. Dave

    While you are celebrating, keep in mind that there is a growing shortage of quality teachers for public school positions. That may have something to do with the fact that enrollment in the school of education at UW Eau Claire has dropped by 60% since 2010. Uw Whitewater has dropped by 50% since 2010. The remainder of UW campuses have seen drops in education school enrollment of 15-20% with the exception of UW Milwaukee. This is not surprising as, in addition to the benefits you claim for Act 10, young people considering career professions have largely abandoned teaching due to the disrespect they perceive that Act 10 has shown toward the teaching profession. This will not bode well for hiring quality public school teachers for the foreseeable future throughout the state.

  2. Jason

    So Dave, do I understand correctly that you are correlating two public college enrollment rates in education degrees with Act 10? You state enrollment has dropped since 2010… do you understand that act 10 passes in 2011? Are you trying to tell us that a generation of children gave up their dream career probably throughout their short 18 years of life, the year BEFORE Act 10 was passed? Wow, just wow.

  3. Dave

    No Jason. I am comparing enrollments in 2010 to enrollments now and pointing out the significantly lower numbers going into education today. I am also aware that hiring pools for public school districts have dropped considerably from what they were just three years ago. UW campuses also report a significant percentage of recent graduates in education are going to Minnesota to teach. You can say it has nothing to do with Act 10 and the negative perception of public education by the current regime. I say you are wrong!

  4. Anon Y. Mous

    Steep Drops Seen in Teacher-Prep Enrollment Numbers
    California and other big states particularly hard hit, raising supply concerns

    A look at the statistics contained within will show that while Act 10 does not help the situation, it certainly does not correlate to Wisconsin’s drop in teacher-prep enrollment numbers, as Wisconsin is reflective of what is a national trend. In fact, the data for the 2014 report (2012-2013 college year, =/- increase over prior year) shows Wisconsin: -13.07%; Minnesota: -17.57%; Illinois: -31.14%; Michigan: -22.24%. Wisconsin fared pretty well that year in comparison to it’s midwestern neighbors. Iowa: -15.29%; Indiana: -30.99%.

    Separate state-by-state enrollment data collected under Title II of the Higher Education Act, meanwhile, suggest that the decline in teacher-preparation enrollments has accelerated in recent years, particularly since 2010. Under that collection, California, New York, and Texas, among the largest producers of teachers, have seen steep drops. (See chart.)
    As befits a labor market that tends to be regional, though, the declines don’t appear to be uniform across the country; some states have maintained stable supplies of teacher-candidates. (The Title II data, unlike the postsecondary collection, include teachers enrolled in nondegree-granting alternative-certification programs.)

    Though the decline is probably due to a multitude of factors, the reason topping many analysts’ list is the budget crunch that hit the nation in 2008. In California, Ms. Sandy believes that the state’s layoffs of some 30,000 teachers during the Great Recession sent a clear message to potential candidates that the profession was no longer a reliable one.
    “We’ve had a period of time with reductions, layoffs, the whole accountability concern about whether schools are producing results—it may not have been the most attractive time for young, talented individuals to go into teaching,” Ms. Sandy said. “How we turn that narrative around is a very important question for the state.”

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