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As I See It

Local taxpayers know best how to fund schools



It is clear that Wisconsin citizens value a good public education. We see that in the number of referendums voters statewide have approved to provide the money needed to educate our children. Since 1990, Wisconsin school districts have approved more than 1600 school referendums worth more than $12 billion. That comes in the face of declining state aid for public schools. But some lawmakers in Madison want to severely restrict when school districts can go to voters in a referendum. This is unneeded, and unnecessarily punitive. The bills would not only limit when and how often local school referendums can be held. And school districts which convince voters of the need for more money for education would be penalized by the state. If this legislation is approved, if voters in the La Crosse school district approved a $5 million referendum, they would lose $1 million in state aid. Sponsors of this legislation say they would use that money to reward other Wisconsin school districts which are able to live within their means. Wisconsin schools shouldn’t be punished for following the will of their citizens. If people in a school district agree to provide more money for education, because they want good schools, they shouldn’t be penalized for that. Local voters know best, and should make their own choices about what is best for their schools and their tax dollars.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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