School funding debate divides Wisconsin Republicans

Published On: Jan 20 2013 03:01:27 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- -

While Gov. Scott Walker and Republican leaders rally behind an income tax cut, Democrats and a Republican lawmaker are pushing for an increase in funding for schools after the largest aid cut in Wisconsin history.

The fight over how to spend any budget surplus is likely to be the central debate this year in the Legislature. Republicans have the votes to do as they wish. They are talking a lot about cutting taxes and not saying much about putting more money into schools.

Except for Republican Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon. He is calling for a $100 million increase in school aid the first year of the budget and another $200 million the second.

The Legislature is expected to get an estimate of state finances soon. Walker's budget comes out next month.