Governor Walkers Tax Proposal Discussed at Education Meeting
Story By Shardaa Gray
PARK FALLS - Governor Walkers plan to put more state money into private schools doesn't make everyone happy.
Last evening, people in Price County got together to talk about it.
"People are deeply concerned about Governor Walkers direct assault on public education," said Senator Bob Jauch.
"It's considered the most anti-public education budget in decades if not in the entire history of the state that prides itself on education."
Jauch had a sympathetic audience in Park falls.
The governors budget freezes spending on public schools, but turns around and increases spending on private school students.
Chequamegon's transportation cost alone is $700 to $900 per student.
"It is unjustified; it is incomprehensible that a governor would disinvest hundreds of thousands of students who benefit from our public school systems to help a few parents at tax payers' expense to go to private schools." said Senator Jauch.
Chequamegon School District Superintendent Dave Anderson is worried governor walkers tax proposal will lower property taxes.
"That's quite a drop in one year," Chequamengon School District Superintendent, Dave Anderson said.
"At $7.70 cents per thousand we're already $2 below the state average mill rate and the lowest mill rate in this area."
In the Prentice school district, the superintendent has taken on more roles than he could imagine.
"I've got five willow kids, if you don't know where willow is, it's 25 miles from Prentice," said Prentice School District Superintendent, Randy Bergman.
"East of III and north another 15 miles. I've got five kids out there. I'll transport them up to suburban up there to get them home. And that's just what we have to do in Prentice to make ends meet."
The park falls community hopes this discussion will lead to a better future.
"I expect that you're going to see whole sale changes. I hope that his voucher plan expanding subsidy of private educations is removed," Senator Jauch said.
"I hope that his proposal to weaken the department of public construction to create charter schools and give it to an unelected, unaccountable group of people is abandoned as well."
PRESQUE ISLE - The art of violin making dates back hundreds of years, and Brian Derber is carrying on the tradition. He wanted to go into furniture making, but fell into instrument design after taking a class in college. In 1999, he opened his own school. It's the only violin making school in Wisconsin.
"The program itself is modeled after a German school of violin making," said New World School of Violin Making Owner Brian Derber. "Students have to fulfill a certain requirement before they can apply to graduate. So the minimum time they are with me is three years."
Students start out by making the body of a violin in their first year. As they progress, they add the scroll and varnish, which can take months for students to finish. Nearing the end of their stay, they can even try to make a cello.
"In the time that I have with students in the school here, I can only give them so much, and then it's time for them to go someplace else and get more knowledge," said Derber.
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