The Associated Press asked Gov. Walker and Democratic challenger Burke for their responses to the same 10 questions in advance of the Nov. 4 election. What follows are responses to one question surrounding public education funding.
Question: What, if any, changes do you believe need to be made to public education funding?
Walker: Our Act 10 reforms help school districts put more of their funding into the classroom. We need to expand the ways that school board members can move to put more resources into the classroom and we need to give them flexibility to best meet local needs. In particular, that means helping schools in rural areas deal with transportation and other unique costs. We should also provide incentives for districts that collaborate on providing specific services. We want to reward high performing and rapidly improving schools. We also want to help failing schools improve their methods (too often in the past more money went to schools to support failed policies without an expectation of real change). We want to invest in success and insure that every child has access to a great education.
Burke: Our public schools are the fabric of our communities and the foundation of our economy, and I’m committed to working every day as governor to strengthen public education and improve student learning. But right now, it’s clear that our current model of funding is shortchanging school districts throughout Wisconsin, particularly in rural parts of the state. There’s no question we need a top-to-bottom review of the school funding formula to ensure that all children in Wisconsin, regardless of where they live, have an opportunity to succeed. Under Governor Walker we have seen the largest cuts to K-12 education funding in the history of our state. Our children’s futures and our economy are too important to not invest in education.
Who gave the better response and why?