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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Check out these great WEAC election resources

WEAC has created more election resources than ever before as we approach the critical November 6 election. We have our Elections Resource Page at weac.org/election, and have made it easy for you to find out who WEAC and NEA are recommending in your area, just by going to weac.org/vote. We’ve also created a document at weac.org/clerks with phone numbers of your local clerks so you can call them and find out when early voting hours are in your community. We’ve also created a document at weac.org/opportunities that lists ways you can get involved in the election. Finally, every day, we are gathering news articles and organizing them on our Politics and Elections Board, to help you keep up with the latest news and developments.

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Spotlight on Locals: Eau Claire Association of Educators

Eau Claire Association of Educators members trust their leaders and are willing to work with them to get things done. That is why, ECAE leaders told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, the ECAE is a growing association that has had significant successes in recent years. “Our continued success in membership growth has made us stronger,” ECAE Building Representative Brian Wiltgen told Peggy for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “And we aren’t stopping now.”

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Washington Post says Walker’s assault on public education ‘could be coming back to bite him’

In an analysis of the Wisconsin governor’s race, the Washington Post says state residents are not buying Scott Walker’s ironic claim that he is the ‘education governor,’ and instead recognize that he has severely cut public school budgets and worked to undermine respect for educators. “Though the election is still a few weeks away and anything can happen, (Democrat Tony) Evers has been leading in recent polls, and Walker’s efforts to recast himself as the ‘education governor’ don’t appear to have convinced his critics. His education ‘reform’ agenda could be coming back to bite him at a time when interest in supporting public education in Wisconsin seems to be growing among many residents at the local level,” the article states.

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