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Letter: Critical of Rhoades' votes

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opinion River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Dear Editor,

Now that school has resumed and the election season swings into high gear, voters need to understand the facts about how the interests of western Wisconsin are represented in the State Assembly.

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Republican Kitty Rhoades voted against a bill asking the legislature to fix the current broken school funding formula which pits property tax payers against schools. She supported cutting $85.4 million from public schools, $3.1 million from the school breakfast program and gutting the SAGE program (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education).

She opposed expanding funding for a youth apprenticeship program and the creation of the Wisconsin Covenant, which would guarantee Wisconsin students with good grades access to UW schools.

She voted to delay payments to the university system until after the 2008 election -- an accounting gimmick to give the illusion of balancing the budget, while voting to cut $40 million in financial aid to students, $120 million from the UW System budget, $15 million from the tech college systems, and supported the elimination of specific UW System academic buildings.

I have observed that Rhoades talks about supporting education when she visits western Wisconsin, but votes against it when she returns to Madison.

After analyzing voting records and interviewing the candidates, the Wisconsin Education Association Council endorsed Sarah Bruch for State Assembly in District 30. Sarah Bruch supports eliminating or overhauling the No Child Left Behind law to better achieve accountability with assessments that measure higher-order thinking skills, rather than the current standardized tests.

She wants to make preschool available to all children, reduce class sizes where appropriate, give incentives to our best teachers, provide additional training to less successful teachers and remove them if they do not improve.

Sarah Bruch will re-evaluate our old, unfair capping finance system for K-12 schools. She supports UW-RF, knowing its students will help secure a strong economic future for Wisconsin.

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