Gov. Scott Walker speaks with a group of Eleva-Strum High School students following his remarks on his proposed state budget at CVTC’s Applied Technology Center Friday, Feb. 10.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker brought his post-budget message tour to Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire Friday, telling a gathering of local high school and CVTC students that the state is investing more in their education and job opportunities.
The visit came two days after Walker presented his 2018-19 budget proposal to the State Legislature, with much of the attention focused on education issues. Among the proposals is a $10 million increase in aid for the Wisconsin Technical College System in part offsetting a freeze in technical college tuition and fees, which he says will save the typical student $279 over the next two years.
“We’re also requiring the UW System to more than double the number of credits transferrable from the technical college system to the universities,” Walker said.
Among the other education proposals in the proposal are $11.5 billion of state support in K-12 education, including a $509.2 million increase in per-pupil state aid. The university system would receive a more than $100 million funding increase, combined with a five percent tuition cut for resident undergraduates.
“In this budget, we invest more in public education than at any time in the history of the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said. “We want to make sure all of our students have every advantage.”
Walker promoted his proposal as the “reform dividend,” saying the money to fund it came from the reforms he led six years ago.
“We’ve got more people working at higher wages because we are better stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Walker said. “A good business would reinvest that, which is what we are doing.”
Among the students in the audience for Walker’s visit were high school students from Stanley-Boyd and Cadott high schools, who are taking part in a Welding Academy through CVTC, taught mostly at Cadott High School. CVTC has similar academies in different subject areas at 10 area high schools.
Walker acknowledged that such cooperative efforts to bring more technical education into high schools enhances the state’s workforce development efforts. He recognized a group of students from Eleva-Strum High School who are part of the school’s Cardinal Manufacturing program in which students operate an actual small manufacturing company at the school.
“Other schools have followed your leadership here and around the country,” Walker said.
“We’d like to see what we’re doing at Cardinal Manufacturing be at other schools as well,” said Eleva-Strum senior Greta Munson. “It gives you employability skills.
Also present for Walker’s visit was Durand High School Principal Bill Clouse, who said, “I’m certainly excited there’s going to be more money for secondary education.”
Clouse said he hopes it will help the school as it works to strengthen its programs. “We’re working a lot with CVTC in dual credit,” he said. “We have 15 courses between dual credit and Advanced Placement options and we’re looking to create more opportunities for students.”