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Wisconisn Governor Scott Walker gestures as he addresses the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012 REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Got my trip to Cali'
I live in Wisconsin. I read a Wisconsin newspaper. Like a lot of folks in Wisconsin when I want to know what Wisconsin government is up to I read several Wisconsin newspapers, blogs and opinion sites. Evidently Scott Walker knows this too. He knows that his policies for the upcoming legislative session, where the GOP holds a majority in both houses, are likely to be as unpopular as the last one. You remember that one; it spurred protests on the Capitol Square numbering in the hundreds of thousands, an occupation of the Capitol, and several recall elections. So, he gave a Wisconsin policy speech in California, far away from Wisconsin reporters so that they could not ask any pesky questions.

So what did the Governor of Wisconsin propose while he was in California?

  1. Massive tax reform
  2. Education reform

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with my taxes. Yes, my property taxes are a little on the high side; however, that is because the state, specifically the state GOP, feels the need to punish the City of Madison for it liberalism by cutting shared revenue to the city. That is not going to stop Gov. Walker, though. His plans?

The Governor plans to push for lower property taxes, which is the primary revenue source for schools and local governments. And he said he will propose "aggressive income tax reduction and reform."
My property taxes pay for roads, trash and recyclables pickup, K-12 schools, technical colleges, police, fire and fire protection, ambulance service, snow plowing, social services, and a city and county park system that is second to none. The only way Gov. Walker can cut my property taxes is if he raises the shared revenue to Madison from state income taxes. Seeing as he plans on cutting those as well I am somewhat baffled by his plan of what appears at this time to be all smoke and mirrors. I guess that explains why he told people in California his plans instead of Wisconsin.

His plans on education are what are really disturbing.

The Republican governor said his proposals for education reform will tie funding to outcomes, including how well the education system meets the need for trained workers. Walker said he has heard "tremendous concerns" from employers in health care, manufacturing and information technology "that they have jobs but they just don’t have enough skilled workers to meet those jobs.
There has been a nursing shortage in Wisconsin; however, that is tied to a lack of capacity to train new nurses rather than a lack of qualified candidates for nursing school. As for manufacturing and information technology not having enough trained workers, well, that is an outright lie. Maybe if manufacturers and IT employers would raise the wages they are offering they wouldn’t be seeing this supposed shortage of trained and qualified workers.

One of the ways that Gov. Walker, a college dropout, wants to fix this is by applying the same flawed performance standards that K-12 schools currently have to use to the University of Wisconsin System and to the state technical colleges. Or as Gov. Walker put it,

"We’re going to tie our funding in our technical colleges and our University of Wisconsin System into performance and say if you want money, we need you to perform, and particularly in higher education, we need you to perform not just in how many people you have in the classroom.

"In higher education, that means not only degrees, but are young people getting degrees in jobs that are open and needed today, not just the jobs that the universities want to give us, or degrees that people want to give us?"

Now, a technical college is supposed to teach you a trade. I get that, which is why they were at one time called trade schools; however, a university is not a trade school. You do not go to the University of Wisconsin to learn how to weld. The goal of a university degree is to make you a well-rounded person. Yes, you can learn computer science; however, you must also learn about literature, foreign languages, and other cultures. It isn’t about just training you for a specific job—it is about making you a whole person, about showing you things that you may have never discovered on your own.

I think Senate Minority Leader-elect Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said it best with this:

Walker plans to "hyper scrutinize" public schools while giving more money to "unaccountable" private schools that studies show perform no better or worse than public schools.

The Democratic lawmaker also said Walker’s proposal for higher education funding sounds like "social engineering" that would force students to study "what industry wants" rather than what students want.

Yeah, that is just what we need, industry dictating what our children should take in school. Instead or producing the next generation of writers, musicians, and artists; our schools should only produce people who can weld, write computer code, and do manual labor (not that there is anything wrong with manual labor). This is the wrong path for Scott Walker to go down; however, as history has shown, he doesn’t care, which is why he gave a Wisconsin policy speech in California.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a Native Californian (7+ / 0-)

    ...I can absolutely imagine many of my Golden State friends telling Walker to go back to Wisconsin and out the fuck out of California.

    As a resident of Wisconsin, there's a part of me that wishes he'd just stay there and not come back.

    Oh, the bitter conflict within!

    "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." ―Yoda to Anakin Skywalker

    by Auntie Neo Kawn on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:24:28 PM PST

  •  Sadly, (7+ / 0-)

    he's got Republican majorities in both legislative branches so he can do whatever he wants.  And gerrymandered districts, which the courts let them keep despite doing them totally secretly, will be there to keep the GOP majorities.

    The only hope we have is their defeat in 2014 with another track record of extremist legislation that the public can't stomach.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:33:52 PM PST

  •  was to far away for me to attend... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, 3goldens

    and I bet he was welcomed in Simi Valley...too bad he didn't come to the bay area...I would have been happy to greet him. ;7)

  •  Where Walker Is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, ranton

    If he's not in Wisconsin, fine. If he's in Wisconsin, it should be in Waupun and not in Madison. He had kind of a bad week, bold policy statements notwithstanding.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:10:22 PM PST

  •  The Liberal Arts rip off ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There was a Music professor at Hofstra (the college I went to) who used to tell his sophmore classes : "if you're a musician you belong in a Conservatory.  If you're not on full scholarship  here ... you're probably not a musician -- so sign up for your education courses while there's still time."  And everybody laughed.

    But it wasn't funny.  It was true.  And much might be said to the budding actors, authors, dancers, artists and athletes in the liberal arts college.  "If you're not on scholarship, you're probably wasting your time and your parents money -- learn a Trade and follow your muse in your free time."

    Today ... it's the student's OWN money ... no, not even that ... years and years of the student's future earnings that's being gambled on what is, for most, a losing proposition.

    Now ... there certainly are still families that can afford to send their offspring to institutions where they can mellow, mature, and meet suitable mates while picking up the dress, manner,   conversation, and connoisseurship of the Class they aspire to.  But the days of "going to College to Find Oneself" are pretty much a thing of the past.  The financial stakes are just too high.

    And if they are too high for  individuals ... why should the Commonwealth subsidize a 19th century educational model?

    Frankly, if "Industry" WOULD declare it's expectations and requirements clearly and Academia DID tailor their instruction so graduating students had half a chance of being employed  other than as an Unpaid Intern -- we'd all probably be better off.

    In fact ... this is pretty much what European and Asian countries have been doing for the better part of a century.   "Arts and Farces" for those who want and can afford them, "Trade Schools" for those who will have to support themselves and their families after graduation.

    When you come right down to it a University IS basically a Trade School for Tenured Professors and Professional Scholars.   Those who fail to make the cut, go "Adjunct,"  or teach in public schools.

  •  We are not broke, we are being robbed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, AnnieJo, Creosote

    Neat sig line.

    We were not broke until we were robbed.

    As a side note:  Does the picture at the top of this diary show that Walker has hair transplants?  Not to forget to mention, the dye job on the hair looks way too dark I think.  

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:32:04 PM PST

  •  I knew as soon as I heard that he gave his major (4+ / 0-)

    policy speech in California and not Wisconsin that we were going to be subject to more of the stupidity and lies Scott Walker wallows in.  The man is going to screw this state up so badly with his policies as well as his twisted, amoral belief system that we'll be lucky to have anything left worth salvaging after he finally leaves.  

    Mark, the one thing that gives me some feeling of power is that Walker was scared enough of the citizens of this state that he ran like the cowardly jerk he is to California to lay out his plans rather than doing it here in the state he's supposed to be governing.  Add to his obvious fear of setting off another round of protests the facts laid out about his last year as Milwaukee County Exec. by Asst. DA Langraf and we now know that we have a likely felon as Governor of this State.  Scott is too ignorant to handle the job of Governor.  I still believe that one day he will be taken down by his own illegal, thug-like behavior.  

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

    by 3goldens on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:08:02 PM PST

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