Spotlight on Locals: La Crosse Education Association

In her latest “Spotlight on Locals” column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen visits with leaders of the La Crosse Education Association and says it didn’t take long to determine that one element of strength in the La Crosse Education Association is its collective advocacy on behalf of students and public education. “LEA members have never been afraid to act collectively and to speak up when changes in legislation that will affect their students and their profession are proposed,” she writes.

Read More...

Wisconsin Supreme Court bars access to public records created during union recertification elections

The decision blocks unions’ access to a public record of the employees who have voted as of the mid-point of the 20-day election period. Madison Teachers Inc., which filed the lawsuit, was not seeking a record of “how” employees voted (that is rightfully kept confidential), but only a list of voters who had cast a ballot. MTI said the ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the Open Records law and is a blow to transparency and open government.

Read More...

Examination finds ‘significant concerns’ over Education Savings Accounts

A new policy brief published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) examines the emergence of ESA policies and makes recommendations for policy makers who are considering adopting or expanding these programs. The policy brief, The State of Education Savings Account Programs in the United States, found significant concerns with ESA programs and a stunning lack of research evidence to support ongoing calls for continued expansion. 

Read More...

Legislative Update – February 2

A school funding commission created by the Legislature met Friday, February 2, in Milwaukee, with invited testimony from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Southeast Wisconsin Schools Alliance and a voucher lobbyist group. The hearing was one of a handful planned around the state to inform the next biennium budget. Senator Luther Olsen opened the meeting, repeating his stance that making changes to school funding requires money in order to make sure there aren’t schools that win and other schools that lose. Olsen said school districts need to be held harmless in any proposal or there will never be enough support in the Legislature to pass it.  Highlights of the Milwaukee Public Schools testimony included support for mental health needs, transportation needs and literacy issues. The Alliance highlighted issues affecting schools, including declining enrollment and the need for local control of school start dates.

Read More...

WEAC celebrates ParaPros in Wisconsin Public Schools!

Wisconsin’s public schools work because educators give their all every day. WEAC has launched a new campaign to celebrate the role of one group of those educators – the paraprofessionals – or ParaPros! Watch for our campaign on YouTube, Facebook and even Pinterest – and when you see it, please share. It’s up to all of us, working together, to celebrate the great work of every public school educator.

Read More...

Sun Prairie couple – both WEAC Retired members – honored by Assembly

Pete and Terry Twedell – both retired Sun Prairie teachers and both WEAC Region10/Retired members – were honored recently as “Hometown Heroes” by the State Assembly. According to an article in the Sun Prairie Star, the Twedells were nominated by their State Representative, Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie), for their years of continued commitment to their community. The Star said Pete Twedell was active in Sun Prairie education and athletics as a math teacher and football and basketball coach, creating a positive environment for students both academically and athletically. Terry Twedell taught elementary school and volunteered her time at numerous organizations that benefit the community.

Read More...

Spotlight on Locals: South Milwaukee Education Association

In her latest “Spotlight on Locals” column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen visits with leaders of the South Milwaukee Education Association and quickly discovers the passion they have for their students, their schools, and their union. “We recruit our best and brightest to be our leaders and the faces of our local association,” Heather Hanson tells Peggy. Heather is a 17-year social studies teacher, born and raised in South Milwaukee, who is serving as a Co-President of the SMEA. Heather works alongside Brittany Jadin, her Co-President in her seventh year of teaching, who was recruited as a second-year teacher to join in the work of her local association. 

Read More...

70 WEAC members earn National Board Certification

At least 70 WEAC members have earned national certification in 2017, and at least 22 more renewed their certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “WEAC congratulates these outstanding educators who have committed themselves to making sure they are the absolute best they can be,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “WEAC is extremely proud to play a role in helping educators achieve this tremendous honor.”

Read More...

The so-called ‘Teacher Protect Act’ would ‘supersize the school-to-prison pipeline’ while failing to provide resources to create safety, legislators told

Concerned Wisconsinites gathered at the State Capitol Thursday for a press event followed by a public hearing on AB693, known as the ‘Teacher Protection Act,’ to express their concerns about the proposal’s effects on vulnerable Wisconsin students. While everyone agrees that teachers and students deserve a safe environment for teaching and learning, the ‘Teacher Protection Act’ offers no new resources or ideas for bringing safety through improved relationships and behavior, according to two organizations leading the charge against the bill – Wisconsin Family Ties and Disability Rights Wisconsin.

Read More...

More teachers pursuing National Board Certification, many with WEAC’s help

More teachers are earning National Board Certification, and in Wisconsin many are using resources provided by WEAC to help them achieve this honor. Three members of WEAC and Madison Teachers Inc. are featured in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal highlighting their journey to National Board Certification and discussing how they used monthly workshops and other support offered by their union to get the guidance they needed along the way.

Read More...