While presidential candidate Scott Walker was rallying this week for a radical voucher scheme that would defund Wisconsin's public schools, Republican allies who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from deep-pocketed voucher backers were pledging to oppose any budget that did not enact the disastrous policies.
Republican Senators Leah Vukmir, Rick Gudex and Paul Farrow said in a press release that expansion of the voucher program was a deal-breaker in their support of Walker's budget.
Walker and Republicans have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from supporters of the voucher scheme which, in the proposed budget, would add not a single dollar to per-pupil spending, while increasing per-pupil payments for voucher schools by $1400, or about 30 percent.
Read about Walker rallying for unaccountable voucher schools here.
"It is telling that Scott Walker Republicans are now making demands in support of unaccountable private voucher schools. The plan to defund Wisconsin's public schools has gotten a cold shoulder from Democrats and Republicans alike, so the special interests backing the disastrous plan are now calling in the favors that have come with hundreds of thousands of dollars," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. "Scott Walker will need the money of the voucher people when he runs for president. But what Wisconsin needs is a commitment to the future of our children, not a political program for big-money donors."