Blue Ribbon Commission on School Financing & Joel Kitchens

While residents of Wisconsin’s 1st Assembly District appreciate that Joel Kitchens is finally getting around to revealing anything regarding his term as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding (BRC) in last week’s story in the county’s arts and entertainment weekly, his bare reiteration of the current and growing problems that are fairly well known already and then refusing to give any information about possible intentions for addressing the problems is unconscionable.  Voters are not to be told what to expect from their “representative,” on this issue until after the election?

In a phone call to Kitchens’ office on August 27, I was politely directed by staff to the BRC website for further information on what was being planned, was told that ongoing meetings were occurring (none of them open or public meetings nor containing information to be garnered through open records requests), only to find outdated meeting notices, publicity photos and absolutely nothing regarding the GOP dominated commission’s work to date.

No analysis of the problems deduced through the numerous public hearings appeared on the site.  No considered avenues for addressing funding were listed at all.  At this stage of their existence, for the GOP led BRC, at least a summary of the problems discovered and the considered tentative means for addressing the worst or most immediate problems endangering public education would seem to be in order.

The BRC website states that the Commission “will provide a report with recommendations to be considered for the 2019-2021 budget.”  Joel’s “quacking,” about we’re trying to be “bipartisan,” and wanting to avoid having the issue become “political football,” is akin to another sports analogy, “par for the course,” with the secret legislative process apparently being engaged in by the unconcerned and unconstitutionally gerrymandered legislative GOP majority.

Your election choice on this issue with Kitchens, the WI GOP and the BRC appears as, wait until they again, “drop the bomb,” to further destroy public education in greater favor of privatized and for profit education in Wisconsin, again to the detriment of all of Wisconsin’s students.   Why else, unless this Commission was nothing but another taxpayer funded GOP public relations gimmick would no other information be forthcoming prior to November?  How about pushing for an immediate press release update from the Commission, Mr Co-Chair Kitchens?

Don Freix

Fish Creek