Wisconsin must demonstrate that we value our teachers, Governor Evers writes

In a column released Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers says Wisconsin must do better in demonstrating that it values its teachers. “We must … recognize that part of supporting our kids in the classroom means supporting the educators who teach our kids,” Evers writes. “Wisconsin pays our public school teachers less than the national average, which makes it harder to recruit and retain talented educators. According to recently-released data, Wisconsin has fallen to 33rd in the nation for average teacher pay. Teacher salaries in our state are some of the lowest in the Midwest. Teachers moving across the border to Illinois or Michigan can see pay bumps of $10,000 or more. That’s just not good enough, folks. As we continue to fight for the resources our schools need to invest in our kids, we must do everything in our power to ensure that educators know the work they do is valued and that they mean something to our kids and the people of our state.”

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Taxpayers’ bill for private voucher schools soars to $350 million

Wisconsin taxpayers will be spending $349.6 million to support private schools this year through the state’s voucher program, up from $302 million last year, according to figures released by the Department of Public Instruction. According to DPI, the taxpayer-funded voucher programs will support a total of 43,450 private school students this year, up from 40,039 students last year.

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Evers asks Godlewski to head new Retirement Security Task Force

Governor Tony Evers has formed the Retirement Security Task Force, and announced that State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski would lead the effort. In a news release, Godlewski said, like citizens nationwide, Wisconsinites are not saving enough for retirement and that an estimated 400,000 Wisconsinites are at risk of retiring in poverty by 2030. The task force, she said, will “identify effective and achievable solutions that will provide an opportunity for all Wisconsinites to save that is separate from the WRS (Wisconsin Retirement System).”

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Spotlight on Locals: Council 10 Retired

While members of Council 10 Retired aren’t in a school building everyday anymore, they certainly stay active. In addition to participating in protests and political events, they attend many educational meetings and social events. Council 10 Retired – one of 24 local chapters of the statewide WEAC Retired group – was recognized this week by WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column.

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Menominee Indian High School teacher Benjamin Grignon presented WEAC’s Excellence in Education Award

WEAC President Ron Martin on Wednesday presented WEAC’s Excellence in Education Award to Menominee Indian High School teacher Benjamin Grignon. The award was presented in Grignon’s classroom, in front of students, family members and colleagues. Martin quoted from one of Grignon’s nominators who said: “Ben’s role as a teacher is not simply to teach art; rather his is the simultaneous honor and obligation to preserve and teach traditional Menominee arts, culture and language through his classroom.”

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Read Across America unveils new look

Our student populations are ever-changing and evolving and every year there are new children’s books that reflect that diversity. That’s why NEA’s Read Across America is rebranding with a new logo to appeal to students of all ages and backgrounds and a continued mission of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Boyceville Education Association

The Boyceville Education Association was on the ground floor of a local initiative called “Build a Better Boyceville” which is focused on the economics of their area and improvement of their community. Both BEA President Holly Sweeney and BEA Secretary Jacob Peterson see this work as critical for both their local association and their community. “We are all invested in Boyceville, and we want to be an education partner in this work,” Holly tells WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in Peggy’s latest Spotlight on Locals column.

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Students need more resources and program support, WEAC President Martin says

In response to the release of new standardized test scores, WEAC President Ron Martin said, “At the start of a new school year educators welcome everyone in our communities to discuss how, together, we can address increasing barriers to learning including strapped school budgets, student poverty, trauma and mental health concerns.”

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