Legislative Update: April 12

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee continued hearings on the state budget with a stop in Oak Creek on Wednesday.

Educators at Oak Creek budget hearing.

There are more opportunities to make your voice heard on issues that impact our students, our profession, and our public schools:

  • Monday, April 15: Joint Finance Committee hearing, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., University Center – Riverview Ballroom, UW-River Falls.
  • Monday, April 15: Governor’s Budget Listening Session, 6-7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:15 p.m.), UW-Superior, Yellowjacket Union, 1605 Catlin Ave., Superior REGISTER HERE!
  • Tuesday, April 16: Governor’s Budget Listening Session, 5 p.m., Chippewa Valley Technical College – Business Education Center, Student Commons, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire
  • Wednesday, April 24: Joint Finance Committee hearing, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., University Union – Phoenix Rooms, UW-Green Bay.

OR

SUBMIT YOUR TESTIMONY BY EMAIL NOW!

To help, we have created a page of budget details and talking points on public education. CLICK HERE!

Every day, we are the professionals who teach the children, and there are a lot of us! Let’s commit to raising our voices in-person or by email so legislators get the message!

If you want more information, or want to volunteer to help in different ways, email us!

OTHER UPDATES:

Assembly Education Committee Meets Thursday. The committee will vote on:

Pupil Records (AB53 / SB57). Expands pupil information allowed to be disclosed by a public school to include the names of parents or guardians. Under current law, the information that may be included in “directory data” that may be disclosed to any person (as long as a public school notifies families of the categories of information and informs families an opt out procedure) includes pupil name, address, telephone, date/place of birth, major field of study, activity/sport participation, attendance dates, photographs, weight and height as member of athletic team, degrees/awards, and most recent school attended. School districts may include all, some or none of the categories to designate as directory data.

Safety Drills. (AB 54 / SB56) Allows the person having direct charge of the public or private school to provide previous warning of any of these drills if he or she determines that is in the best interest of pupils attending the school. Currently, no advance notice is allowed.

Accountability Reports. (AB67 /SB64Requires the Department of Public Instruction to include the percentage of pupils participating in music, dance, drama, and visual arts in annual school and school district report cards. The DPI would include this information for each high school and school district, along with the statewide percentage of pupils participating in each subject. This information would not be allowed in evaluating school performance or district improvement.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT THE ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE ABOUT THESE BILLS

The committee will also hold public hearings on:

  • AB 129, which would allow voucher schools to provide hours of direct pupil instruction virtually in times of emergency or inclement weather as public schools are allowed; and
  •  AB 110, which comes as a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Council’s Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia. The guidebook is a resource for parents and teachers of dyslexic students, and would be created by the DPI through an advisory committee.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT THE ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE WITH FEEDBACK ON THESE BILLS!

Voters Support Major Increase for Special Ed. A large majority of Wisconsin’s registered voters – 74 percent – agree with Governor Evers that there should be a “major increase” in state aid for special education, according to results from the latest Marquette University Law School poll. As part of his state budget plan, Evers has proposed a $600 million increase.

Banning the ‘R’ Word. The Assembly and Senate have passed a bill that would ban terms such as “mentally retarded” from administrative rules. The governor has previously said he would sign the bill if it gets to his desk.

Governor Evers & Property Taxes. The property taxes on a median-valued Wisconsin home would go up less under Gov. Tony Evers’ budget than the Republican’s current law – up only $56 in the first year of and $48 in the second year even with the restoration of funding for schools, roads and health care. Analysis shows the owner of that median-valued home would pay $39 less in property taxes under Evers’ budget vs. current law, which reflects what Republicans put in place while they still controlled the guv’s office as well as the Legislature. It’s a win-win for families & students.

Executive Order. Just days after the State of the Tribes annual address, focused highly on public education, Governor Tony Evers has signed Executive Order #18 to affirm the intergovernmental relationship between the State of Wisconsin and the Tribal Nations in Wisconsin.