A Republican lawmaker on the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee said the state would stay in compliance with federal guidelines, so as not to miss out on $1.5 billion in federal matching funds for education.
First, this is a good reminder that nothing is ever “free.” The federal money has demands that state taxpayers increase spending because it isn’t about COVID-19 relief. It is about increasing spending on a loyal Democratic constituency – government teachers.
Second, there is no way that the federal government doesn’t grant a waiver if necessary. Here’s how this plays out…
Step 1: Evers and Democrats beat up Republicans for a few weeks to get more K-12 spending in the budget.
Step 3: Irrespective of whether Republicans in the legislature increase spending or not, Evers calls Washington to make sure the money will flow.
Step 4: Biden’s administration sends money.
Step 5: Evers takes credit for “saving” billions in federal money and uses it as an “achievement” for his reelection campaign.
Republicans should hold their ground. There is no upside – politically or educationally – to spending more money on government schools.