NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Education Reforms Will Give Wisconsin's Higher Education System Greater Autonomy

February 24, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced several important reforms to Wisconsin's education system in his 2015-17 budget proposal. There are three key points: removing the cap on the number of charter schools in the state, eliminating state funding for Smarter Balanced tests tied to Common Core, and giving the University of Wisconsin greater autonomy in exchange for a $300 million budget cut over two years.

Walker's budget proposal will end the teachers' union monopoly on children's education, give schools more independence and improve the Wisonsin education system. 

The proposal can improve equality among students. By lifting limits on charter schools, more students will have the opportunity to attend the school of their choice. This can benefit both individuals and the general public in the long run. Walker's proposal to free the University of Wisconsin System from the state government bureaucracy will reduce costs for both.

And based on the previous experience of Act 10 reforms, changing the UW Education System is expected to be a great success. Also, trading a small portion — $300 million of the $6.1 billion total — the UW Education System's  budget for greater autonomy will enable public universities to provide better education, which can give students the essential skills to compete in a global economy.

The proposed reforms to the University of Wisconsin system could lead higher education to a sustainable path by empowering leaders, protecting taxpayers and promoting long-term stability.

Source: Heather Kays, "School Choice Supporters Applaud Wisconsin Governor\'s Budget" Heartland Institute, February 17, 2015.


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