When you take a star athlete and put him or her on a starvation diet, you guarantee that they will not be able to perform to the best of their ability. That is exactly what's being done to the public education system in Wisconsin.
As budget cuts in education take effect, school districts across the state are struggling just to survive. They tighten their belts with efforts such as reducing the number of class periods per day, or cutting back on the number of classes they offer or doing away with extracurriculars. In short, by decreasing the range and depth of educational opportunities they offer.
Originally we were told that money for public education had to be cut because the state was drowning in debt. Two years after Act 10 stripped the public unions of any meaningful power, we have a projected budget surplus. The response from the state government is not to increase funding for public education, but to promote spending more public money on vouchers for private and religious schools.
Public education in Wisconsin is being gutted and it's not because the Republicans in power think it's best for the system or the state. It's being done to open the gates for privatizing education in Wisconsin. If that is allowed to happen, there will be a two-tiered education system - one for the rich and powerful, and one for the rest of us.
Wisconsin's citizens were raised to believe that our elected officials have the best interests of the people in mind. In this example, that is not the case. In the end, we will all pay the price for a second-rate education system. The old saying is true, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."