State Sen. Jennifer Shilling
Press Release

GOP Blocks K-12 Funding While Voting to Send More Youth to Prison

Prisons get almost $1 billion boost at expense of students and homeowners

By - Feb 19th, 2020 06:41 pm

MADISON, WI – After refusing to take action on Governor Evers’ proposal to invest millions in local classrooms, Senate Republicans passed a series of proposals that would spend almost one billion dollars in Wisconsin’s prison system. Despite the overwhelming public support for Gov. Evers education proposal, many are left questioning why the Republicans continue to ignore the needs of Wisconsin students, teachers and classrooms.

“In what world does it make sense to approve almost a billion in taxpayer dollars for prisons rather than investing in Wisconsin students?” asked Senator Shilling (D-La Crosse). “The Republicans’ misplaced priorities are depriving Wisconsin students the opportunity of a quality education. Their actions will further exasperate prison overcrowding, dramatically increase costs, and take our state backward.”

Wisconsin is ranked in the top twenty states that spends more on prison inmates than it does on students. Currently, Wisconsin taxpayers spend $33,000 per incarcerated person each year compared to $11,456 per student.

The Governor’s education proposal would restore funds Republicans cut from the biennial budget for special education, mental health services, and rural sparsity aid while providing $130 million in property tax relief.

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