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A growing number of Republicans in embattled Wisconsin are showing buyer’s remorse over their votes for GOP Gov. Scott Walker.
They’re not happy with his attempts to destroy the public school system in the state.
“He’s trying to balance the budget on the backs of teachers,” Bar Feest of suburban Milwaukee told The Associated Press. “It took so long to get our schools where they are, and they’re going to cut in town in, what, two years? It’s not right.”
Feest, a Republican says she’s sorry she voted for Walker and wished she could take that vote back now that she’s seen how his proposed budget will gut the public school system in Wisconsin.
Walker is looking to cut down the state’s projected $3.6 billion budget by eliminating collective bargaining rights for public employees — including teachers — and cutting aid to schools by $835 million and forcing local school districts to reduce their property tax authority by an average of $550 per pupil — making it extremely difficult for schools to make up the losses in state aid.
At a public forum in Brookfield, a number of Republicans say they’re sorry they voted for Walker.
“I voted for him because I wanted some restraint on frivolous spending,” teacher Ronn Blaha told the AP. “I did not anticipate that he considered education a frivolity.”
Walker’s war against public employee unions brought him national attention but polls show increasing trouble at home as the impact of his policies sink in.
And he’s not the only Republicans who’s taking aim at schools.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants a change in the state aid funding formula that would allocate less funds to school right when they must make up for the loss in stimulus dollars.
Even longtime GOP voters worry that the cuts in education will destroy quality schools that have taken decades to create.
“It all concerns me,” Donna Leslie, a West Chester, Ohio, mother of a senior in high school, told the AP. “There are cuts that need to be made but I don’t think we’re going about it in the right way.”