Legislative Update – December 6

The leaders of the Wisconsin State Legislature on Wednesday announced creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding that does not include any classroom educators. “As educators, we are a steady voice for a solution to Wisconsin’s broken school funding system,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “It’s alarming that no classroom educators are included on the Commission because teachers and support staff know firsthand how the inadequate and inequitable funding impacts learning every day.”

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Legislative Update – June 5

While public education advocates were expecting the Joint Finance Committee could take up some measures relating to the K-12 budget soon, things seem to be at an impasse. The delay comes from a stir around school funding caused by the Assembly Republicans again floating the idea of creating their own education budget, which could cut about $90 million from the budget proposal currently on the table. Senators continue to push back hard, saying they will work off the original plan.

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Legislative Update and Action Alerts – May 19

This week’s Legislative Update includes Action Alerts to contact your elected officials and ask them to support full funding of public education over private charters and voucher schools, and to protect the Wisconsin Retirement System from unnecessary changes. Other topics include special education funding, school board candidate signatures and campus speech.

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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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Retirement Security forums being held throughout the state

The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, in coalition with many groups, is presenting information about Retirement Security at a series of forums throughout Wisconsin. The alliance is working with the WI State AFL-CIO, area labor councils, the Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security, and Protect Our Wisconsin Retirement Security to educate and mobilize retirees across the state to protect and expand the ability to retire with dignity. WEAC is a partner with the Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security.

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Private retirement system modeled after WRS would help Wisconsin citizens build secure futures, Kippers testifies

Creation of a Wisconsin Private Retirement Security Board modeled after the highly successful Wisconsin Retirement System for public employees would help build a more financially secure future for Wisconsinites, “which means less reliance on social programs, a stronger economy and a more vibrant Wisconsin,” WEAC President Betsy Kippers said Thursday in testimony before a Senate committee.

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Milwaukee Public Schools takeover plan weakens WRS, causes unfunded retirement liabilities

The Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security warns that the proposal to privatize Milwaukee Public Schools – currently under consideration by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee – will have serious repercussions for state retirees and taxpayers. Contributions to WRS could be cut $2.5 million in first biennial period, and hundreds of millions of dollars thereafter.

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