... My family lived in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where my siblings and I attended public schools. My school experiences and education were magical. I had many teachers who inspired me in those formative years.

     ... I want the same quality of educational experiences and opportunities in the Wisconsin public schools for my grandchildren and for all public school children. Unfortunately, since Act 10 in 2011, things are different.

     Governor Walker ended collective bargaining, required teachers to pay more for their health and pension benefits, made steep cuts to public education and expanded public funding for private school education known as the voucher program.

     These actions have consequences. There is: a lack of respect for the teaching profession; less earning power for teachers; a shortage of teachers; less per pupil spendable money; less money for special needs students; program cuts and the list goes on and all the while public funds are being diverted to support private school education through the voucher program. ...

     Gov. Walker has proposed dramatic increases in funding for public education in the 2017-2019 budget.

     It is important for the Joint Finance Committee to work off of the governor’s budget and to increase per pupil usable money to at least $200 per pupil in the first year of the biennium and $204 in the second year.

— Linda Wilkens
Green Lake

     To read the entire letter, see the April 6, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.