WRONG: These 3 governors have vowed to take more from students and schools

7 comments

By Amanda Litvinov

Take Action ›

Don’t miss out on legislative and political news that affects education. Click here ›

Governors across the nation have begun to reveal their priorities through budget proposals and state of the state addresses–and too many are making reckless decisions about public education.

A recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that most states already invest less in education than they did before the recession hit nearly a decade ago. Here’s what that looks like:

 


So why are governors and lawmakers in some states continuing to cut resources from the public schools most families rely on? Because it allows them to lavish tax cuts on the wealthy and rich corporations, funnel public money into private schools through voucher schemes, and support unaccountable, for-profit charter schools.

Here are a few of the potentially damaging proposals we’ve seen so far:

Missouri

Newly elected governor Eric Greitans is doing things his way—which is “cut first, think later.”

Although he promised “not a penny would be cut from K-12 schools,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that he indeed withheld more than $14 million from K-12 programs.

Higher education was hit even harder, with over $70 million in cuts to institutions and scholarships
for students. Over $56 million was cut from funding for four-year institutions and $12 million from
community colleges. The state’s A+ scholarship fund was also reduced by $3 million.

Curiously, Gov. Greitans did not present a budget overview in his state of the state address, which has some state lawmakers concerned. The Missouri NEA urges the governor and legislature to make the state’s tax credit programs more accountable and reduce their harmful effects on schools and our students.

Nevada

In his state of the state address earlier this week, Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed significant funding for private school vouchers, or education savings accounts (ESAs).

The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) and the more than 40,000 educators it represents in Nevada strongly oppose any public funding of vouchers. NSEA calls on Nevada lawmakers to redirect revenue the governor wants earmarked for vouchers to proven programs helping all students.

“The proposed monies for private school vouchers could go a long way to better teach students who are English language learners, low-income or have learning disabilities,” said Ruben Murillo, Jr., a special education teacher and current NSEA President. “We should build on the good from the last legislative session to fully fund science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs; universal pre-school; and literacy programs so every student can read by the third grade.”

Maryland

Gov. Hogan has proposed doubling funding for the voucher scheme that the Maryland State Education Association has called “his Trump-like initiative that sends taxpayer money from public schools to private schools.”

MSEA President Betty Weller, a middle school science teacher, released the following statement:

“According to independent experts, Maryland’s public schools currently have $2.9 billion less than what they need to help every child succeed. Our kids rely on strong neighborhood public schools to prepare them for a college education and stable career—and we have a moral obligation to fill those equity gaps.

“That’s why Maryland educators are deeply frustrated by Gov. Hogan’s proposal to drain twice as many resources from our public schools to subsidize private schools. The governor’s alliance with President-elect Donald Trump—who has proposed the idea of using $20 billion in taxpayer money for private school vouchers—on privatizing our public schools should be alarming to every Marylander who believes in the importance of public education.”

Learn more about Gov. Hogan’s false claim that his voucher program doesn’t hurt public schools.

If you’d like to nominate your governor for our next roundup, leave us a comment!

 

Reader Comments

  1. Nominating my homestate, here. Please, please, please take a good, solid look at what is happening in New Mexico with Martinez. FYI, I’m also fairly certain NM is the only state with privatized prison on every single level. Coincidental? Don’t even get me started on the issue of poverty… I’m sure you’re all aware. I’m beginning to think she must have a federal incentive for allowing our complete failure. Surely. Teacher take home averages $731 a pay period, particularly as top brass like to “encourage” cycling anyone over five years “in” right on “out.” Very cost effective to court level one and ignore the idea of retention. Anyone else seeing that pattern as an explanation for the direct pocket robbery and on-going teacher demonization? At any rate, I’m looking forward to seeing her featured. Soon!

  2. The lack public schools are suffering in books, supplies, healthy/safe building management is intolerable. There are many more public school students than private, faith based, and charter school students…this is an UNCONCIONABLE and cruel situation. I am the parent of nine who chose to send my children to Catholic school…chose being the operative word and have NEVER voted a school bond issue down. Until public schools enjoy a level playing field the situation will remain criminal and unjust.

  3. It is unfortunate that decisions on who fills what cabinet post will be based on partisan politics and not on the appointees qualifications. Betsy DeVos is not qualified for the position of Secretary of Education. Her performance during her confirmation hearing was embarrassing.

    1. As was the immature, bullying behavior of Murray, Warren (especially, I think she has anger management issues stemming from her ne’er do well father’s inability to pay loans and having property taken by the bank” she needs counselling of some sort. Maybe she could go see the tribe’s medicine man)) and Sanders who thinks everything ought to be free for everybody (excepting his contribution). these hearings are a joke, on all counts. More time was spent demanding a second round of questions than time spent asking relevant questions. Warren wasted time asking questions to which she knew the answer. I have always told students that is disgusting. What are you trying to do, prove you are smarter than everyone else? Before DeVos’ performance is singled out as embarrassing, how about we take a look at all the players?

      1. Come on, Bob. The wealthy dictatorial class want public schools to fail so they can scam more money from the government (working class taxes) by way of vouchers, for-profit schools, etc. They want to appeal to the religious for votes by allowing them to get tax money to send kids to church schools (I still cannot see why that isn’t illegal/unconstitutional). They want to dictate the curriculum away from teaching us how to think, only how to work in their businesses. It is a long term plan that, along with their anti-worker propaganda to convince citizens to vote against what is best for most, has been used in the test state of Wisconsin to start eroding our nation-leading public school & university performance. DeVos has no rightful place at the head of the agency in charge of public schools. Of course Rod Paige was horrible and Arne Duncan wasn’t much better, but deVos would be a case of the fox being put in charge of the hen house. I am curious about what you are doing on an NEA website…? Do you teach? Were you in the Corp? Go read General/President Eisenhower’s speech about the military industrial complex and relate it to current trends in education. We didn’t heed his words and few give it much thought today. Let’s not let education follow. America’s mediocrity in education is led by purposeful dumbing down of curriculum by teach-to-the-test (testing: another money pit to enrich a few… research it.) Teaching kids to question, discuss, research, debate, and think critically about the world, and act to improve it, is what we need. Then they can leave high school with the skills to understand that Rush is not news and that right wing thinking is selfish and divisive. I am thankful that our our progressive legislators are trying to reveal what deVos and her ilk are up to. If conservatives had their way the colonies would have kept the king of England. If progressives hadn’t protested, we would be living in hovels, working 7 days a week, 16 hour days, making barely enough to survive. That’s what people like deVos would like you to do. Oh, that and defund public schools who need it most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *