College News

Assembly Republican visits ASM committee to discuss budget proposal

Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, spoke at an ASM Shared Governance Committee meeting about Gov. Scott Walker’s recent budget proposal.

Image By: Jon Yoon

Though expressing reservations about possible performance-based funding in the UW System, an Assembly Republican came to campus Tuesday to meet with student leaders and primarily voiced support for the state biennial budget proposal.

Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, met with an Associated Students of Madison committee and explained elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal, including context regarding available funding for education.

Kitchens made an opening statement to the Shared Governance Committee detailing Walker’s “generous” budget proposal before opening up the floor for questions. He said there is a projected extra $2 billion this budget cycle, which allows the state to provide more funding for education.

“We will really be spending more on education than we ever have in our history after this budget,” Kitchens said.

However, Kitchens said he has reservations about one aspect of the budget: Walker’s proposal to tie UW system funding to performance-based evaluations. He said K-12 schools have report cards based on the number of students who went on to a four-year college, but these metrics are largely based on demographics, with poorer schools struggling more than wealthy ones.

Prior to Kitchens’ comments, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Sally Rohrer delivered a presentation outlining the registered student services and organizations that would be affected by Walker’s proposal.

“Say 25 percent opt out of their seg fees,” Rohrer said. “The other 75 has to bear the burden of funding the services that are essential on this campus. We will end up in a system where no one is paying seg fees and we cannot fund any of these services.”

During his opening statement, Kitchens did not discuss opting out of segregated fees, and wasn’t asked about this during the question-and-answer portion of the meeting. 

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