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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Time running out for conservatives to shape budget deal

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Several Republicans have been getting an earful in recent days from conservative supporters who believe the budget negotiations have been going in a bad direction. The main complaints? Too much spending, tax cuts that are too small, and a meager modification to the School Choice program that some are trying to sell as a statewide expansion.
 
As we report today, you can add one very prominent voice to that chorus: Jim Klauser. The political heavyweight and former head of the Department of Administration is troubled by the continued watering down of the School Choice proposal. 
 
Our free Key Reads today includes all the Sunday Network TV News Shows and of course don't forget Sunday Insight  as well.
 
David Blaska takes a look at the liberal dean of UW-Madison's School of Education.
 
It’s a toss-up as to which is the more hidebound defender of the old status quo: the militant picketers of the statewide teachers union or the teacher factory on Madison’s Bascom Hill.
 
But there is Julie Underwood, dean of the Ed School, conjuring a reliable hobgoblin — ALEC — instead of applying some academic rigor to the debate. 
 
It is the goal of the American Legislative Exchange Council "to eliminate school districts and school boards," Dean Underwood theorizes, by making "every school, public and private, independent through vouchers for all students."
 
ALEC, of course, shares the liberal dunking pond with the Koch Brothers, Fox News, the Bradley Foundation, WMC, Karl Rove and Scott Walker — the mere mention of which draw sustained hissing and huffing from true blue fisters.
 
In a jeremiad published on the school’s website, Underwood trots out the usual lefty boogeymen, inveighing against "corporate interests," and suggesting — incredibly, it would seem — that the poor would suffer — as if they aren’t already.
 
The dean once called giving parents greater choice in how and where their children are educated "a legislative contagion," according to The Capital Times.
 
"By providing all funding to parents rather than school districts, there is no need for local coordination, control or oversight," Underwood claims. Read the rest.
 
Our Collin Roth did some follow up reporting on the UWM Palermo's protest -- wait until you read what he found.
 
We're off to the start of what promises to be a busy week.
 
 

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