Madison, WI: Statement from AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, a teacher in the Superior School District, on Scott Walker’s announcement of his presidential campaign:
“Scott Walker’s announcement today that he’s running for President surprises no one—he’s been more interested in running for President than in running Wisconsin for years now. What is surprising, however, is that he can look at what he’s done to the people of Wisconsin in just four years and think that he’ll be able to convince the American people that he deserves to be promoted to the biggest job in the land. Americans want a President who values education and supports our students, not one who attacks our schools at every opportunity. They want a President who will support working Americans, as well as Americans who are looking for work, not one who will sell them out for campaign contributions and personal political ambition. Americans know who they want in a President—and it’s clear that it isn’t Scott Walker.
“Across Wisconsin, members of AFT-Wisconsin and other unions have been working hard to protect public education and public services from Walker’s attacks. When he tried to cut over $100 million from PK-12 education, it was union teachers and school staff who banded together with parents and students to fight to restore that funding. When he took aim at science research and environmental education at the Department of Natural Resources and in the UW System, our members worked to get the word out about Walker’s efforts to politicize our state’s conservation efforts. And when he proposed devastating budget cuts and unprecedented attacks on academic freedom in the UW System, AFT-Wisconsin members mobilized to defend higher education in our state and to protect education from political interference.
“We haven’t been able to prevent all of the damage that Walker has inflicted on Wisconsin. You just have to look at how Wisconsin’s economy compares with Minnesota’s to see the truth of that. But the working women and men of Wisconsin will never stop fighting until this state is once again a great place to live, learn, and work. Today’s announcement will begin a national conversation about what’s happening in Wisconsin, and we at AFT-Wisconsin look forward to sharing Scott Walker’s real record with the rest of the country.”
About AFT-Wisconsin: AFT-Wisconsin is a labor organization of professional public employees in the state of Wisconsin. Formerly called the Wisconsin Federation of Teachers (WFT), AFT-Wisconsin is a Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Started primarily as a teachers’ union in 1931, AFT-Wisconsin today is comprised of many diverse professionals with over 500 job classifications, including members in the state PK-12 school system, the Wisconsin Technical College System, numerous state agencies, and the University of Wisconsin System.