Public education champion Tony Evers is Wisconsin’s new governor!

State Superintendent Tony Evers, a staunchly pro-public education Democrat, is Wisconsin’s new governor, defeating incumbent Republican Scott Walker, long known for his attacks on public schools and educators. WEAC President Ron Martin applauded WEAC members for their hard work in helping to elect Evers. “Today is filled with possibilities and opportunities, leading us to a better future,” Martin said. “This victory belongs to you. But more importantly, it belongs to our kids.”

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Labor leader Phil Neuenfeldt dies

A great leader of the Wisconsin labor movement, Phil Neuenfeldt, has died. Neuenfeldt, president emeritus of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, died in his home November 4. “Phil Neuenfeldt stood side-by-side with WEAC members during our most tumultuous struggles, always insisting that whether in the public or private sector, union brothers and sisters stand together,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “As Phil would expect, those of us who mourn his passing will carry on to advance solidarity in Wisconsin.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Bayfield Education Association

“The reason for our strong participation is that people see the BEA as a collective teacher voice for the district, and our voice is focused on kids, families, and our community. We want to make our school district the best place it can be.” That is how former Bayfield Education Association President Rick Erickson – also a former Wisconsin Teacher of the Year – sums up the BEA’s success as a local association. Rick spoke with WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “We’re all part of a community,” adds current BEA President Eric Iverson, “and we stick together.”

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Evers launches ‘Tour for Change’ in closing days of campaign for governor

As the campaign for governor enters its last few days, Democratic candidate Tony Evers is touring the state in a school bus, outlining the sharp differences between himself and incumbent Scott Walker, who is well known for attacking public school educators and gutting funds for public education. Evers’ Tour for Change began Wednesday and continues through Monday, the day before the election. Click here for currently scheduled tour stops.

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There’s only one education champion in Wisconsin’s race for governor, and that’s Tony Evers

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has taken to calling himself a “pro-education governor” — a laughable claim to educators in the state. Walker cut state funding for K-12 schools by $1.2 billion, has worked hard to expand the state’s private school voucher program that takes money away from public schools, stripped educators and other public workers of collective bargaining rights, and slashed university funding by $250 million. As State Superintendent, Tony Evers has proposed increasing public school funding by $1.4 billion, says he will freeze the school voucher program as a first step toward its eventual phase-out, strongly supports community schools that help meet the needs of students and families in the local community, and plans to place in statute requirements for teacher voice to be part of all education-related decision and policy-making initiatives.

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Voucher program enrollment up 8.7 percent, cost soars to $302 million

Enrollment in Wisconsin’s three taxpayer-funded private school voucher programs rose 8.7 percent this year, while the cost soared 12.3 percent to $302 million, according to a report released Tuesday by the Department of Public Instruction. Across the three programs (Milwaukee, Racine and statewide), 39,381 students received a voucher to attend one of the 279 participating private schools. That is an increase of 3,164 students and 43 schools compared to last school year. The cost of the three programs combined is estimated at $302 million for the 2018-19 school year, which is an increase of about $33 million (12.3 percent) from the prior year.

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