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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

So-called study on teacher absenteeism another attempt to bash educators

A far-right funded report attacking teachers for paid sick days was aimed at discrediting teachers and unions rather than providing an unbiased analysis of the data, an academic review has determined. The review of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute report by the National Education Policy Center says the report provides very little evidence for its findings and ignores large bodies of contradictory research. The NEPC also points out important flaws in the Fordham report’s assertion that teacher absenteeism is costly to taxpayers and contributes to low student achievement.

Read More...

Legislative Update – November 6

WEAC ACTION ALERT! A bill to end Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave coverage would significantly harm Wisconsin families. Senate bill 490 would end the right to use paid sick leave while on family leave to care for a child after birth or adoption, and has many other negative impacts. The bill, which does not have a companion in the Assembly at this time, was referred to Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform. Other bills we’re watching include: Character Education, Competitive Bidding for School Districts, Drivers Education, Financial Literacy in Schools, Discrimination, Pupil Assessment Access, Sanctuary Cities, Supplemental Aid for Large-Area Districts, and Tuberculosis Screening.

Read More...

New report illustrates how strong unions make stronger communities

A new report, “Strong Unions, Stronger Communities,” details more than a dozen examples from across the country of how working people who belong to strong unions are making their communities stronger and leveling the playing field for everyone. The report was released Wednesday by the NEA, together with its union partners AFT, AFSCME and SEIU. “Through better public services, good jobs and better opportunities for students, labor unions are key to making sure that working people have a chance to get ahead in an economy rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful,” the report states.

Read More...

NEA applauds Democrats’ proposals to strengthen labor unions

Senate and House Democrats Wednesday unveiled one of the critical tenets of their economic agenda, “A Better Deal,” that would work to strengthen labor unions, which help to ensure a stronger, more robust economy that works for all Americans — not just those at the top. The Democrats’ Better Deal proposal comes as special interests are looking to roll back worker protections in order to maximize corporate profits.

Read More...

Legislative Update: October 31

Read more about a bill to end Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave coverage … The state Senate returned to the floor for the first time since approving the budget last month … Among the topics it is taking up are competitive bidding for school districts, Montessori teaching licenses, school employee tuberculosis screening, and financial literacy in schools. Other topics on the radar are Educator Protection Principles, 4-year-old kindergarten funding, and more.

Read More...

Teachers’ mental health declining due to job stress, political discourse, survey finds

The growing stresses of teaching, coupled with the coarseness of the nation’s political debate, is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of teachers, according to a survey released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association, a grassroots organization focused on social justice. Well over half of the educators surveyed – 58% – said their mental health was “not good” for seven or more of the previous 30 days. That is up from 34% just two years ago. The summary of the survey – titled “2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey” – says safe, welcoming, healthy schools flourish when teachers and school staff are empowered by support and respect on the job.

Read More...

WEAC members can now access over 100 free micro-credential courses through WEA Academy

WEAC members can now access over 100 micro-credential courses through the WEA Academy at no charge. Earning a micro-credential is like taking a shortened version of a college course. Micro-credentials are sometimes called digital badges, micro-certifications, or nano-degrees. This free resource is an excellent way for members to hone or expand their professional knowledge and skills with a limited time commitment and at their own pace.

Read More...