During his visit to Milwaukee tonight to raise special interest cash for Mark Green, George W. Bush tried to explain what qualities make a good Governor – but he missed the mark between those qualities and Mark Green’s record.As Xoff notes, Green was in fact the deciding vote on some of those education cuts, and it seems highly unlikely that Green would stand up to a Republican legislature next year to meet Tommy Thompson's promise of 2/3 funding for K-12 education.
In his speech at tonight’s $1,000-a-plate dinner, George W. Bush said, “a governor has got to make education the number one priority of the state.”
Governor Doyle’s already done that, doubling financial aid for college students and stopping the Republican Legislature’s proposed cuts of hundreds of millions to public education.
Mark Green voted to cut student aid and voted funding for basic educational services for low-income students.
Moreover, House Republicans, of which Green is one, continue to be on the warpath against education. The new Elementary and Secondary Education Access and Opportunity bill is a killer. Here's just a snippet of what it does (read the whole document at the link, and note my emphasis):
The bill cuts No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the second year in a row, nearly $500 million (2.1 percent) below FY 2006 and $1.5 billion (6.2 percent) below FY 2005. Schools are getting less than they received in 2006, 2005, 2004 and even 2003, as the government asks them to do more. The bill falls $16.4 billion short of our NCLB funding promises in FY 2007, creating a cumulative shortfall of $56.8 billion. [. . .]The bill specifically hurts Wisconsin's technology education (but we have to keep software companies like RedPrairie!) and directly affects the ability of the state's only failing district--the Milwaukee Public Schools--to do what it neds to do through further cuts to Title I and IDEA funding. The mark-up goes on to note that the House Republicans are even cutting programs the Bush requested and promised to deliver. Clearly, the president feels that education is more important than House Republicans do. Mark Green is one such House Republican, and he has not distanced himself from this bill in the month since its introduction. And if he votes as he usually does--party line above all--he will endorse it and support it when it hits the floor.
The bill freezes Title I formula grants, denying extra reading and math instruction for an additional 3.7 million low-income children. [. . .] The bill cuts the federal share of IDEA to 17 percent. Congress promised to pay 40 percent of the costs of educating 6.9 million students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). Instead, the federal share will continue to decrease from 18.6 percent in FY 2005 and 17.8 percent in FY 2006 to 17 percent in FY 2007. An additional $1 billion would be needed to restore the federal share to its FY 2005 level.
The bill fails to pay for NCLB teacher quality mandates, by cutting teacher training grants by $300 million. [. . .] Education Technology State Grants are eliminated ($272 million in 2006 and $496 million in 2005). NCLB authorized $1 billion to help teachers make the most effective use of classroom technology. These education technology grants help schools, universities and technical colleges share classes through regional and statewide distance learning networks, provide online professional development for teachers, and assist schools in keeping up with ever-changing technologies. Schools in AR, AZ, DE, MD, MI, MN, MO, ND, NH, OR, VT, and WI are especially impacted by the bill's elimination of education technology grants because their states do not have dedicated funds for technology.
That's why, when Bush said we need to elect a governor who would make education a top priority, he clearly was not thinking of Mark Green.