Walker says UW budget cuts should force larger teaching loads

Walker says UW budget cuts should force larger teaching loads

Gov. Scott Walker said his plan for the University of Wisconsin System should force changes in teaching loads at schools across the state.

Walker announced Tuesday he planned to cut $300 million from the UW System in his two-year budget, along with changes that would make the system a public authority.

Speaking Wednesday to a group of officials from the Chippewa Valley area , the governor called his plan “Act 10 for the UW,” and said he believes the system can handle the cut despite recent statements from university chancellors.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said Tuesday the cuts could cause layoffs and cuts to student services on the system’s flagship campus.

The governor told reporters Wednesday that UW concerns raised so far were similar to those expressed about Act 10 by school administrators and teachers.

“I believe if they fully use those reforms, things as simple as in the future not having limitations of things like shared governance, they might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class a semester,” Walker said.

Walker said he also believes the UW should tap more of its surplus dollars. Blank said Tuesday that many of those were used to mitigate a cut in the last budget.

The governor also said Wednesday he planned to keep funding for Wisconsin K-12 schools largely intact in the next budget, but wouldn’t comment on how he expected to expand school-choice programs in the state.

Walker will present his budget to the Legislature on Feb. 3.