This morning, Sen. Erpenbach appeared on the Spinzoids' show and explained it all for us. But all he really did was show us how much "Madison Disease" he really has (it's a close relative of CWD, the brain-eater.)
Erpenbach stated that his bill would require the School Tax portion of property taxes be eliminated--zeroed out--and that the State's increased sales-tax revenues would be substituted. That's why he says that this is NOT a "tax increase." Overall, he expects that relief from the School Tax will approximately equal the increase in the sales taxes paid by Wisconsin citizens.
Even if that is true (and maybe it is...) Erpenbach's bill is a dose of cyanide wrapped in peppermint. Erpenbach hopes that no one will notice the malodorous and extremely malignant elephant in the room.
It's called "local control."
Frank Lasee thought of it, as did this blog a couple of days ago. Here's Lasee's commentary:
Another question that we need to ask about this proposal is: what will the effect be on local control? Under our current system if a school wants more money they have to ask their taxpayers first before they offer another French class, build a new school or add more personnel. The point is that the taxpayers have the final say.
Under Erpenbach’s proposal will the Department of Public Instruction or another government agency be given that power? So every time a school needs more of our money will they have to call Madison and beg? Our current referendum system is working (as I’ve outlined in past columns). Do you really want to give our local control of schools and school budgets to a state agency? Under Senator Erpenbach’s proposal will we end up with one large school district for the whole state controlled by Madison?
Some other questions: do you really think that Mineral Point and will be allowed to continue paying average Total Comp of $69,576 when Lake Country District pays $89,752? Or put another way, do you seriously think that Milwaukee Public Schools will be allowed to continue spending $10,375/student/year when Shawano only pays $8,302/student/year?
Erpenbach's proposal will have exactly TWO beneficiaries: the State's Department of Public Instruction, which will become the de-facto Emperor of Education in Wisconsin, and WEAC, which will have to negotiate with only one entity: DPI.
All decisions--classroom space, texts, acoutrements, athletics, testing, course-offerings--will be made by DPI/Wisconsin, directly or indirectly. ALL teacher and administrator compensation will be decided by The Emperor.
As will all "School Choice" matters.
Erpenbach is either a fool or an extraordinarily nefarious Machiavellian.
I don't know which is worse.
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I just fail to see the necessity of Erpenbach's plan. I fail to see how this supports the family in educating their child. Looking back, Thompson's decision to fund 2/3rds of the costs of education was the biggest setback to public education in this state ever. It has to rate right up there with the 'equalization' formula.
Thompson got in bed with the Devil--Chuck Chvala--to pass the other half of that bill, the levy-increase-limits.
No surprise he awakened with fleas (and likely worse.)
This was funnier than The Onion, thanks!
Reminds me of just how much I miss living in Wisconsin. We don't have so many totally idiotic people here in WA State.
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