Pocan: GOP Ready to Throw Another $1.5 Billion in Federal Funding with Education Aid Away
MADISON, WI—Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement in response to the Wisconsin Republican Party’s refusal to fund K-12 and higher education at the level necessary to qualify for $1.5 billion in federal COVID aid.
“Once again, Wisconsin Republicans are selfishly screwing Wisconsinites out of $1.5 Billion in federal COVID relief,” said Congressman Pocan. “For the last year, the GOP-led state legislature has barely shown up to work, yet found time to threaten billions in federal food aid, COVID relief, healthcare assistance, and now relief for our students, schools, colleges, and universities. As a member of Congress, I work hard to ensure the people of Wisconsin receive the billions in federal aid that they deserve. At a certain point, the Wisconsin GOP must recognize that they have become the party of fiscal irresponsibility in the name of partisan pageantry. Wisconsinites elected these state legislators to help them—not to repeatedly stand in the way of relief, in the middle of an economic and healthcare crisis.”
In order to qualify for federal aid to Wisconsin schools—under the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan—states must maintain the same budget for K-12 and higher education in 2021-22 and 2022-23 as their average allocations in 2016-2019. In Wisconsin, the state legislature would need to add $387 million in funding for K-12 education and $41.2 million for higher education. However, the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee in the state legislature is falling short once again—adding only $128 million to K-12 education—risking $1.5 billion in federal COVID relief for Wisconsin. In response to possibly losing billions in education funding, the state GOP is trying to claim that a $350 billion fund that can be used for any purpose it wishes - even purposes not related to education - will "fix" the problem. Unfortunately, GOP budget tricks will not guarantee federal aid to Wisconsinites.