Wisconsin was first among 24 states in reducing state education aid since last year, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based think tank.


State spending per student dropped $635 from the last fiscal year, thanks to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget, which took effect July 1.

New York cut the second most, slashing state school aid by $585, and California cut the third most, with $484.

"These cuts are occurring at a time when schools face demands from parents, employers and civic leaders to bring more and more students to higher levels of academic proficiency, in large part because workers will increasingly need higher levels of educational attainment to thrive in the workforce," the authors of the study, Phil Oliff and Michael Leachman, said.

The report only analyzed the 24 states where the necessary state budget data were available. The 24 states comprised about two-thirds of the nation's school-age population.

"Scott Walker has been a failure on jobs, on reigning in spending and on making government accountable to Wisconsin's working families, but he has crowned us with the dubious honor of leading the country in cuts to education," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. "At least we're 'Number One' in something."