Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, June 6, 2011

Faculty comment on state finance, court ruling, health-care reform, economics

La Follette School faculty have been sharing their insights in the media.

Economist Andrew Reschovsky comments several times on Wisconsin fiscal matters, including being featured extensively in the weekly radio show This American Life talking about job creation in Wisconsin. He appears at about minute 20, but sources report the whole show is worth listening to.

Reschovsky comments in the Green Bay-Press Gazette on the school funding plan the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee approved in late May. WISC-TV notedReschovsky's analysis of the governor's school funding proposal that would limit districts' resources. "And here's where we ask lawmakers to pay attention," the May 24 commentary says. "He suggests limiting reductions in revenue limits and adding a poverty weight to the state funding formula would help ease the burden on districts around the state. Makes sense to us."

In Isthmus, Reschovsky shares background about Wisconsin's expected budget deficit for the next two fiscal years.

Economist Barbara Wolfe opines on federal health-care reform and its likely effects on poor people. Her essay appears on the web site Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity: The Source for News, Ideas and Action.

Political scientist John Witte co-authored an opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that summarizes findings on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program that provides vouchers for students to attend private schools. He and Patrick J. Wolf, professor of education at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, note that "competitive pressure from the voucher program has produced modest achievement gains" by students in Milwaukee Public Schools. Witte and Wolf lead the national School Choice Demonstration Project based at the University of Arkansas. Witte also comments in a Capital Times article on the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Arizona's use of state tax revenues for scholarships to private religious schools. Witte expects to see increased use of public money for students attending private schools.

Economist Menzie Chinn appears in several publications. He notes in The Economist that the Heritage Foundation's analysis of the economic impact of a federal budget proposal assumes a boost to labor supply and investment five to eight times more powerful than conventional models. He comments in a Reuters article about U.S. trade with China. The Wall Street Journal cites "an interesting chart" Chinn posted on his blog, Econbrowser, in his discussion about the La Follette School's conference on long-term unemployment in the developed world in the wake of the Great Recession.

Guest column: Walker's plan falls short at local level, May 29, 2011, Green Bay Press Gazette

The story behind school choice study, May 28, 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

So long, safety net?, May 26, 2011, Isthmus

Editorial: Protecting Our Schools, May 24, 2011, WISC-TV /

How to Create Job, May 13, 2011, This American Life

Secondary Sources: Bernanke, Unemployment, Tax Revenue, April 27, 2011, Wall Street Journal

Special report: Does corporate America kowtow to China?, April 27, 2011, Reuters

UW Conference on Long term unemployment in industrial countries, April 26, 2011, Econbrowser

Conference to explore effect of long-term unemployment, April 25, 2011, La Follette School News

The rise of the anti-Keynesians, April 14, 2011, The Economist

Chalkboard: Supreme Court OKs tax credits for religious school scholarships, April 5, 2011, Capital Times

Health Care Reform and Low-Income Families: New Costs, Lower Burdens, March 28, 2011, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity: The Source for News, Ideas and Action