Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker's Collective Bargaining Reforms
1:40 PM, May 30, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Here's a transcript from a press conference at Barrett's campaign headquarters in Milwaukee Wednesday morning:
An email to Barrett's campaign asking when that analysis might be completed (the election is in 6 days) has not yet been returned.
School districts big and small have used Walker's reforms to balance their budgets without layoffs or painful program cuts—see the stories, for example, from Kaukana, Brown Deer, Wauwatosa, Appleton, Baldwin-Woodville, Hartland-Lakeside, Pittsville, just to name a few. "Welcome news for local schools" read a recent headline of the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal.
It's true that the school districts of Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha have laid off hundreds of teachers—but those districts have been operating under contracts in which local unions retained collective bargaining because the contracts were agreed to before Walker's reforms were signed into law. A study by the conservative MacIver Institute has shown that although these districts comprise 13 percent of public education staff statewide, they accounted for 43 percent of layoffs at Wisconsin public schools. In other words, Walker's collective bargaining reforms have actually saved teachers' jobs.
Not only has Barrett been unable to point to a single school district hurt by Walker's reforms, he has been unwilling to say how he would have balanced the budget differently than Walker did. Barrett was also unable yesterday to name a single policy he would pursue to create jobs in the state of Wisconsin.