Wisconsin has always prided itself off on maintaining an affordable, accessible, and high quality system of public colleges and universities. It’s so much a part of our state that we even have a name for it: The Wisconsin Idea.
This week, leading up to his annual budget address, Scott Walker proposed a $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin system—putting the Wisconsin idea at risk.
Cutting funding to the University of Wisconsin isn’t just bad for education; it’s bad for our economy. Each year the University of Wisconsin system has an economic impact of over $15 billion for the state of Wisconsin. It’s a phenomenal return on our $1.2 billion annual investment. As we continue to lag the national recovery cutting $300 million from our state’s largest economic driver is precisely the wrong approach.
To make matters worse, Walker’s plan would outsource control of Wisconsin’s greatest public asset to an unaccountable new semi-private agency packed with his appointees. This would mean than in just a few years UW campuses could begin boosting tuition with no oversight from elected officials.
And tuition almost certainly would need to soar by leaps and bounds annually to make up for years of declining state support. Nothing could stop this new privatized system from shutting the door on Wisconsin’s own students to open more slots for higher paying out-of-state and foreign students.
There is still time to save The Wisconsin Idea, but only if you speak up. Click here to contact your legislators and tell them to stop the cuts to the University of Wisconsin.