UW: “Math is hard!”

Posted in School Reform, Weekly Newsletter on by .

calculatorThe Washington Monument Game was a familiar con long before anyone talked about so-called government shutdowns.

Its local version, the School Board Game, is the tactic of responding to taxpayer demands for spending restraint by saying, “Sure, we can control spending.  We’ll eliminate band and football.”  At the federal level, read: “…we’ll close the Washington Monument.”

Well, the Washington Monument reopened last spring after being closed for three years—not by budget cuts but to repair earthquake damage. Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin system’s political seismographs picked up a tremor from Governor Walker’s budget plan, and the UW’s top brass are all playing the school board game.

The state funding cuts in the Walker proposal amount to 2.5 percent of the UW system’s $6 billion budget and come with fewer, not more strings attached; that is, greater independence for the system, whose reaction suggests less money and more oversight might be an even better idea.

School Board Game Alert: Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, obviously in need of remedial arithmetic, has concluded the 2.5 percent cut means a six percent cut reaching throughout the sacred university system and layoff notices will go out in April.

Meanwhile, the self-serving bureaucracy, still impervious to the idea of being held accountable, uses taxpayer-funded university resources to orchestrate political push-back against the Walker budget and continues sitting on a giant slush fund discovered by legislators two years ago. School Board Game Alert No. 2: The UW couldn’t possibly use that slush fund to cushion budget cuts.

Oh, and the noisiest faculty critics of Walker’s budget don’t teach any classes. As in n-o-n-e.

Cows don’t typically dig holes, but Wisconsin’s most sacred cow is in one, and digging deeper.

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