The Stand Up for Schools March to Madison is a 60-mile walk from Palmyra to the Capitol to stand up for the budget our kids deserve, including a 60 percent reimbursement of special education costs, which was cut from the budget by the Joint Finance Committee (along with $900 million in other public school aids) from the education budget proposal put forward by Governor Tony Evers. By the end of June, lawmakers will vote on a final budget and we want to see those funds restored. The march is organized by the non-partisan Wisconsin Public Education Network.
The march will set an ambitious pace of 20 miles per day, and marchers are invited to join along the way for as much or as little as they wish to walk, or to cheer marchers along at the start of the day and at local rallies along the way. The march will end in Madison where we will call on state leaders to pass the budget that is best for kids by meeting the priority needs of our children. We encourage you to walk at your own pace – we will help everyone “catch up” for the whistle stops and end-of-day points. Whether you can join the march for 60 feet or 60 miles, or as someone who wants to cheer for the cause, you are welcome in this action – RSVP today.
In May, the Joint Finance Committee cut $900 million from the Governor’s education budget. The budget currently on the table doesn’t even keep pace with inflation but is being touted as a “major investment” in public schools. WPEN and its partners are calling on all lawmakers to restore this essential and feasible funding to the budget before they send it to the Governor’s desk. Specifically, we are calling for a restoration of the special education funds (to a 60 percent reimbursement level), mental health aids, poverty aid, and aid for English Language Learners that was cut from the budget.
Milwaukee school board member Megan O’Halloran first announced that she intends to march to Madison to draw attention to the inadequacy of state funding for so many districts around the state. We applaud her willingness to take a public stand and the immediate offer of many others to join her. It seems clear that there are many people around the state who have testified, sent letters, and feel ignored – they are looking for ways to be heard and do all they can in the final days before the budget is passed to call for fair funding and make sure the budget that gets to the Governor is one that meets our kids’ needs.
For more information, email Heather DuBois Bourenane at hdb@WisconsinNetwork.org.