Legislative Update – April 24

Bill increases state aid for special education and school age parents programs to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s costs … Bill would raise early retirement age from 50 to 52 for protective services employees and from 55 to 60 for general employees, and change the calculation for a participant’s final average earning from the highest 3 years to the highest 5 years … Series of bills introduced to restrict the ability of school districts to win passage of local referendums … Bill would require DPI to first submit its ESSA plan to the Assembly and Senate education committees for approval before it goes to the federal government … Joint Finance Committee to begin state budget deliberations … Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session on bills related to recovery charter schools and a mental health training program.

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WEAC is learning from the past and building for the future, WEAC President says

Inspired by the legacy handed down by our past leaders and encouraged by the incredible promise of our current and aspiring educators, the future of WEAC is very strong, WEAC President Ron Martin said Saturday at the 95th WEAC Representative Assembly. Despite what some media say, “It’s an exciting time to be a union member,” Martin said at the daylong Assembly in Stevens Point.

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Educators’ Network for Social Justice 10th Annual Teaching Conference is Saturday, April 29

The Educators’ Network for Social Justice Conference is being held Saturday, April 29, at the Indian Community School in Franklin, Wisconsin. Workshops are facilitated by socially conscious educators and community members with a passion for their work and cover a wide range of social justice topics. Keynote Speaker, Patty Loew, is a professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication and affiliated with American Indian Studies, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the School of Human Ecology Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies.

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‘My students deserve a quality education,’ special education teacher tells legislators

Kandace Larsen, a special education teacher at Marinette High School, stood up for her students Friday in testimony before the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. “I am here to speak as an educator in support of public education, but more importantly, I am here to speak for my students – many of whom are not able to speak for themselves,” she said at a state budget public hearing at Marinette High School.

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Legislative Update – April 21

Governor signs bill on local governments’ labor agreements … Why voucher transparency matters … Budget hearings wrap up … Permitless Carry Bill referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety (among other things, the bill would eliminate the State Gun Free School Zones Law) … The Week in Review.

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Teacher asks legislators to put voucher program to a statewide vote

La Crosse teacher John Havlicek asked legislators Wednesday to put the private school voucher program to a statewide vote. In testimony before the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee at a hearing in Ellsworth, Havlicek also submitted the written testimony of nearly 100 people – mostly educators – supporting public education over vouchers.

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NEA Executive Committee visits MTEA, applauds Community Schools program

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association welcomed the National Education Association Executive Committee to Milwaukee Tuesday. The NEA leaders – including President Lily Eskelsen García, Vice President Becky Pringle and Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss – met with MTEA’s leadership, MPS Administration and United Way representatives to find ways to continue the success and growth of Milwaukee’s seven #CommunitySchools.

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WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen joins other educators and parents in asking legislators to support full funding of public schools

WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, a Marshfield teacher, joined other educators and parents Tuesday at the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Spooner, asking legislators to support full funding of public schools. “As a teacher, I support children and their dreams, and I make all professions possible,” she said. “As legislators, I ask you to make our public school students and those dreams your priority.”

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Kenosha teachers lead campaign for more prep time

Kenosha teachers and their supporters will be back at the School Board meeting this month, again asking board members to increase prep time so that teachers can fully meet the needs of their students. In March, dozens of teachers and supporters packed the board meeting to shine a light on the issue, with several teachers taking to the podium to explain the importance of prep time in helping teachers provide quality education for all students.

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Kenosha educators examine ways to keep classrooms safe and inclusive

The Kenosha Education Association is always looking for ways to provide opportunities to both educators and students that make them feel appreciated for who they are and prepared to take on challenges they face in and outside of the classroom. With a sudden increase of bullying incidents at some of the schools, KEA recognized there was a need to educate its members about how to keep their classrooms a safe and inclusive space for their students. As a result, KEA collaborated with GSAFE Wisconsin, an organization whose mission is to create just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin, to host an exclusive, members only workshop to help attendees learn how to navigate an oftentimes sensitive topic.

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