Statement to Joint Finance Committee - Voces de la Frontera, 6/2/2011

Joined by hundreds of supporters, a coalition of parents, students, educators, teaching assistants and members of the interfaith community were dragged from a public Joint Finance Committee hearing while reading statements calling for economic and educational justice. The text of their statement is below:



Senator Darling and Senator Vos:

You are complicit in moving Governor Walker’s anti-public education budget forward.

We are here today to vehemently oppose this education budget and the process by which you have rammed this budget forward. Holding four public hearings in remote areas during work and school hours is not democracy.

Slashing funds for public education and removing the ability for undocumented students to pay instate tuition rates is mean spirited and immoral.

We demand that public education dollars be restored and that all students living in our state pay in-state tuition rates.

You are taking from the poor to give to the rich. Your actions are unconscionable. Shame on you. You take food out of the mouths of children by cutting reduced breakfast programs while at the same time transferring public money from public schools through an expanded voucher program for the education of wealthy families.

This budget is a budget of the have nots and the have mores.

You are destroying the American Dream for working class and immigrant children in our state.

You justify your actions claiming there is not enough money. You justify your actions claiming immigrant children are taking limited resources from US citizen children.

These claims are unfounded. You refuse to implement a fair taxation for large corporations and the wealthy that would address the budget gap—that is not even that big. You are willing to deny opportunity to immigrant youth who are struggling to study hard to achieve college admission and pay their own way.

You are violating the norms of a civilized society when you invest more in incarceration than in public education.

You promised job creation, yet your budget forces school districts to give pink slips to teachers, school nurses, educational assistants, teaching assistants, social workers, maintenance workers, food workers, among many others.

You promise job creation yet you undermine our ability to produce an educated, diverse, and talented workforce.

To the people of Wisconsin, join us—it is our duty as citizens to resist the passage and implementation of this unjust budget.