As Evers begins his second term as governor, we have learned a few things about his character that should inform the budget process. First, Evers is a leftist ideologue. His worldview does not allow for compromise as evidenced by his immediate rejection of any olive branches. Second, he is untrustworthy. Remember that this is the same bloke who secretly recorded conversations with Republicans and released the recordings to the media for political gain. Third, Evers is not above taking credit for the work of others when it gives him political advantage. Evers ran on the fact that he signed a tax cut even though he opposed it every step of the way. Knowing Evers’ character and style of governing, legislative Republicans should take a bold, positive approach that seizes the initiative.
Republicans must begin by forcing meaningful accountability for education. As previously documented in in this column, the performance of the state’s government schools is abysmal and getting worse. Parents know it. Kids know it. Teachers know it. Evers’ unwavering support for a system that is systemically racist and broken is a travesty. Republicans must shift the discussion from funding (schools are already overfunded) to accountability. Wisconsinites have a strong tradition of investing in education and our schools should be held accountable to deliver a quality education for kids with that investment. Many of them do not. Accountability is sorely lacking in our government schools. The Legislature should use their power of the purse to force it.
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