Scott Walker at Union South

In his bid for re-election, Scott Walker is spinning a fantasy that he is pro-education — even though he has a long record of bashing public education. PHOTO BY JESSIE OPOIEN

The biggest lie that any politician in America is telling in the 2018 election season is Scott Walker’s claim that he is a pro-education governor. And we give high marks to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers for calling Walker out on the issue.

Evers, one of eight contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor, is closing out his primary campaign with an ad that describes Walker as what he is: “the most anti-education governor this state has ever seen.”

That’s not a debatable point. Walker started his governorship by attacking teachers and their unions, and by cutting state support for public schools. He went on to attack the Wisconsin Idea and to appoint members of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents who advanced a wrongheaded merger scheme that will undermine the state’s vital system of two-year and four-year university campuses.

Walker, a career politician who has a long record of bashing public education, is trying to remake his image as he seeks a third term as governor. Part of that remake involves a shameless attempt to suggest that he has an interest in students and teachers, urban and rural schools and the UW System.

But no one should fall for this fantasy. Walker is running for re-election because his presidential ambitions were thwarted at the start of the 2016, when Republicans from other states recognized what a lousy manager the governor was. Donald Trump ripped into Walker during the campaign, saying that under his rival’s attempt at leadership: “Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster."

We do not often agree with Trump. But he was right about Walker. And nothing has changed.

That is why the state desperately needs a governor who will be a genuine pro-education governor. We think that a number of the candidates could meet that standard and we are not making an endorsement in next Tuesday’s Democratic primary race. But we give Evers credit for using his bully pulpit as the superintendent of public instruction, and as a gubernatorial contender, to counter Walker’s campaign-season lies with the truth.

Scott Walker has been, and remains, the most anti-education governor this state has ever seen.

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