Republican tax plan is ‘giveaway to wealthiest paid for by students and working families’

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a multi-trillion dollar tax plan that funds tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations on the backs of students and working families. The bill, championed by Republican leaders, eliminates a popular tax deduction that allows educators to deduct up to $250 of the money they spend on their classrooms and students. The bill also expands a tax loophole for the wealthiest to pay for private school expenses while cutting tax deductions for the middle class. The elimination of most of the state and local tax deductions would blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education and risk funding for nearly 250,000 education jobs, including 4,680 in Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin’s anti-collective bargaining law has significantly lowered teacher pay, increased teacher turnover rates and likely harmed student achievement, new study finds

“As a result of Act 10, teachers receive significantly lower compensation, turnover rates are much higher, and teacher experience has dropped significantly,” Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling said at the release of a new study that documents how the 2011 anti-collective bargaining law has harmed Wisconsin. “Rather than encouraging the best and the brightest to become teachers and remain in the field throughout their career, Act 10 has demonized and devalued the teaching profession and driven away many teachers.” The study was released by the Center for American Progress.

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Legislative Update – November 13, 2017

A sparsity aid package designed to help rural schools won’t clear the house in this session, the Assembly Majority Leader told a statehouse insider news publication. The $9.7 million package would have provided rural districts with 745 students or less with $400 per pupil through sparsity aid rather than the current $300. There also would have been a second tier in the program for districts with between 746 and 1,000 pupils of $100 per student.

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Nearly 250,000 education jobs at risk if Congress eliminates state and local tax deduction

As part of its $5 trillion tax plan giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations, the U.S. House Republican leadership bill eliminates most of the state and local tax deduction (SALT). Its elimination could blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education and put nearly 250,000 education jobs at risk, according to a detailed analysis by the National Education Association. In Wisconsin, that would put 4,680 educator jobs in jeopardy and risk the loss of $4.6 million in support of public elementary and secondary schools over the next 10 years.

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Americans over age 60 fastest growing demographic for student loan debt

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Snapshot of Older Consumers and Student Loan Debt”, the age demographic in which student loan debt is increasing fastest is Americans over the age of 60. Factors for the explosion of debt in this group, according to the report, include it taking longer for borrowers to repay their loans and more parents and grandparents borrowing to help finance higher educations for their children or grandchildren.

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7 out of 10 school referendums pass

Voters on Tuesday approved seven out of 10 school referendums throughout Wisconsin. Referendums were approved in Barneveld (2), Cochrane-Fountain City, Florence, Princeton, Three Lakes and Union Grove. Referendums lost in Freedom (2) and Milton.

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NEA President says tax plan is giveaway to wealthiest funded on backs of students and working families

The tax plan released by House Republican leaders and backed by President Trump is a massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest individuals and corporations funded on the backs of students and working families, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said. The plan expands an education tax loophole that would further benefit the wealthy and allow them to set aside money for private school expenses while cutting tax deductions for the middle class. It also eliminates the educator tax deduction that allows educators to deduct eligible unreimbursed classroom spending up to $250.

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Eau Claire students, teacher win School Board victory for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Thanks to three determined students at Northstar Middle School, the Eau Claire Area School Board has unanimously passed a resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and EducationVotes.org has publicized the action nationally. “From a teacher’s perspective it was really fun to watch the students collaborate, and they were able to give each other ideas,” said Eau Claire Association of Educators and WEAC member Amy Carlson Sather, the student’s seventh grade social sciences teacher. The students involved in the effort are Miinan White, an eighth grader at Northstar Middle and a member of both the Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk tribes, and her classmates Emma Heck and Cailey Stolt.

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WEAC supporting effort by ‘Wisconsin Family Ties’ to oppose student discipline measure

WEAC is supporting an effort by Wisconsin Family Ties to oppose the so-called “Teacher Protection Act,” a pending bill in the Legislature that presents a misguided approach to student discipline. Wisconsin Family Ties has created a Facebook post encouraging educators, parents and other citizens to contact their legislators expressing concern about this pending measure now known as LRB-0917.

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