Legislative Update – April 28

The Assembly on Tuesday has several items on the docket, including a broadband expansion bill, as well as legislation that would give lawmakers direct oversight on how the state plans to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. And the Joint Finance Committee is preparing to begin votes on Monday. Other topics covered in this week’s wrap-up include: voucher accountability, mental health, campus speech, child labor, prevailing wage, school referendums, and more.

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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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‘My students deserve a quality education,’ special education teacher tells legislators

Kandace Larsen, a special education teacher at Marinette High School, stood up for her students Friday in testimony before the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. “I am here to speak as an educator in support of public education, but more importantly, I am here to speak for my students – many of whom are not able to speak for themselves,” she said at a state budget public hearing at Marinette High School.

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Legislative Update – April 21

Governor signs bill on local governments’ labor agreements … Why voucher transparency matters … Budget hearings wrap up … Permitless Carry Bill referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety (among other things, the bill would eliminate the State Gun Free School Zones Law) … The Week in Review.

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Teacher asks legislators to put voucher program to a statewide vote

La Crosse teacher John Havlicek asked legislators Wednesday to put the private school voucher program to a statewide vote. In testimony before the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee at a hearing in Ellsworth, Havlicek also submitted the written testimony of nearly 100 people – mostly educators – supporting public education over vouchers.

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WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen joins other educators and parents in asking legislators to support full funding of public schools

WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, a Marshfield teacher, joined other educators and parents Tuesday at the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Spooner, asking legislators to support full funding of public schools. “As a teacher, I support children and their dreams, and I make all professions possible,” she said. “As legislators, I ask you to make our public school students and those dreams your priority.”

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