Commentary: ‘Penny for Our Kids’ is costly propositionThe Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools launched A Penny for Kids campaign to raise sales tax one penny to raise about $850 million a year for schools.
By: Andy Wieser, Maiden Rock, The Republican Eagle
The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools launched A Penny for Kids campaign to raise sales tax one penny to raise about $850 million a year for schools.
WAES consists of school districts, educators, teacher organizations, retired teacher/educator associations, civic organizations, congregations, and parent/student groups.
The idea sounds great.
A Penny for Kids!! Who doesn’t have a penny to give to kids?
But is it really just a penny?
It is actually a 20 percent increase in your state sales taxes.
WAES wants to raise state sales taxes one penny to 6 cents on every dollar or 6 percent. Plus add in your local sales tax (county and/or city) in most counties there is a .5 percent sales tax, which would bring your total sales taxes to 6.5 percent.
Then I wondered how this increase would affect my property taxes?
Schools are primarily funded by state aid and local property taxes. I looked at their website and found that there really is no property tax relief in this proposal. They say that a penny for kids may help to slow the increase in local property taxes.
Local property taxes for schools are set by the school districts Board of education. In other words this money would be distributed similar to how our current state aids are now. It will only increase spending and add to our current funding problems.
We have a systematic performance problem not a funding problem. To fix it, we need to fix the system not throw more money at it.
The reality is that our state and federal governments face historic budgetary shortfalls and our economy is struggling.
The United States leads the world in spending on public education and Wisconsin is among the highest spending states on a per capita basis, yet numerous studies show that this increased spending has not translated to improved academic performance. In fact, by many measures, quite the opposite is true.
We need to stop the madness.
This is not about providing “A Penny for Our Kids.” Instead it is a scam designed to provide millions of dollars in increased funding for the many special interest groups that feed off our public education system.
We need to see through ploys like this and demand real solutions that are designed to achieve a top quality educational system that is financially sustainable.
Talk to your current and prospective legislators and find out where they stand on A Penny for Kids. Then cast your vote Nov. 2.