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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

FranklinNOW publishes revealing article about Scott Walker's effective budget reforms


I’ve picked on Candace Romano of FranklinNOW who writes, I believe, like a high school journalism student. Give her a few quotes, she’s happy as a clam and will run with them, never challenging the speaker or the content. Get the other side? Romano apparently hasn't gotten to that chapter yet.

Whether she meant to do it or not (my guess is, not), Romano does provide revealing insight in her latest article that I encourage you to read.

Romano (or her editor) decided a good story would be to ask some local bureaucrats about the impact of Governor Walker’s budget reforms, a la Act 10. Never mind that a zillion articles have already been written about the effectiveness of Act 10. Romano was sent out to get local reaction (detractors?).

Romano found someone willing to talk, Paul Sojkowski, a teacher at Meadowview Elementary School and chief negotiator for the Oak Creek Education Association. From Romano’s article:

“Sojkowksi said so far, the impact of the bill that ended collective bargaining for anything other than wages (which are still subjected to cap based on inflation) for public school teachers has been insignificant in the classroom. In the Oak Creek-Franklin School District, there have been no layoffs and class sizes have not increased, offsetting common concerns of teacher unions and their members. ‘I think in Oak Creek, we're in a fortunate situation,’ Sojkowski said. ‘The administration has done a good job to avoid layoffs. There haven't been any layoffs as a direct result of budgetary issues’.”

That’s about as close an educrat will come to saying Walker's reforms are working, a reality Sojkowski probably can’t stomach himself to fully admitting publicly. He and others will never credit Walker for any improvements.

But Sojkowski couldn’t stop there. In typical PR Nightmare 101 teacher-ese, he had to pop the cork on his and other educators’ favorite whine:

“The bottom line is there's no stability," he said. "That creates uncertainty and that creates problems. … "Who knows what's going to happen, what further cuts are going to happen to education?"

Another uncertainty is teachers' pay scale and lanes, and whether they will receive additional compensation for pursuing a master's degree or years of experience. According to the Wisconsin Legislative Council, Act 10 would provide for collective bargaining for base pay only.

"That's another slap," Sojkowski said. "Right now, teachers' education isn't valued. There is no reason for teachers to go back to school, there's no financial incentive. We are constantly being attacked. What incentive do you have to be a teacher?"

I don’t know about you, but I don’t play the "what if" game displayed by Sojkowski. As for his whining about teacher pay, again, who put the gun to these peoples’ heads when choosing a profession? And haven’t we heard time after time after time from this crowd that it’s all “for the children?”

No it's not. It's all about the money. Always has been.

This surely isn't what Romano intended from her article, but I’m glad she wrote it.

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