While lawmakers in Madison acknowledge the need to invest in Wisconsin's technical colleges, it remains to be seen if they are willing to nearly double the amount of money available for state-financed student financial aid grants in the next state budget.
Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), vice chair of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, said in a statement there is a very real need to get people the type of training technical colleges provide. Hansen also said the request will require closer examination.
"What we can afford and whether it makes more sense to invest it in more financial aid or providing more instructional opportunities is something we will need to take a close look at," Hansen said.
It is reasonable for the board to request the additional funding, said Mike Mikalsen, speaking for Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater). But Mikalsen said he was not sure if the governor would have the money available to meet the request. He added that if money were available for education, it may be directed toward the K-12 system instead.