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Walker touts education proposal at Hudson High School

Gov. Scott Walker spoke last week to Hudson High School students. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
A group of Hudson High School students gathered to meet Gov. Scott Walker Friday, June 2, after he spoke at the school about education. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

There is generally not a lot to hold students' attention on the last day of school.

And then the state's chief executive arrives.

That is what happened Friday, June 2, at Hudson High School, when Gov. Scott Walker toured the building and spoke to students.

"You have tremendous, tremendous opportunities," the Republican Walker told students. "We want to keep building off that."

He used the event, as he has at scores of other schools around the state, to promote his K-12 funding proposal. Walker described to students how the proposal — still under debate by the Joint Finance Committee — would boost per-pupil funding in Wisconsin.

He said after the presentation that indications from legislative leaders were that the proposal would survive the key finance panel intact.

"We think that's great news, but that's why I'm here today, is I'm not going to take anything for granted until I actually get the budget to sign off on," Walker said in an interview.

He also championed the latest state unemployment rate — 3.2 percent in April — which he contrasted with the 9.2 percent that Wisconsin experienced when he was first elected in 2010.

"I need K-12 education as well as our technical colleges, our UW system and others to be critical players in building a strong workforce," he said.

A group of about 40 students rushed the stage to greet Walker after his presentation. They included senior Riley Bast, who said she was thrilled to be able to shake the governor's hand.

She supported Walker's call for more K-12 funding, saying it "will go a long way to improving young people's views of him."

And, Bast said, there are plenty of needs to be filled by that funding.

"The more money a school has, the more technology and tools it has at its disposal to improve students' educational potential and success," she said.

Walker's message to the students included encouragement to broaden their class choices — advice that Bast said connected with her.

"I really value his advice to take a variety of classes in order to expand your interests and skills because that is an idea that I have always tried to follow," she said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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