Foxconn special session starts Tuesday amid growing pushback

Governor Walker on Friday called for a special session starting Tuesday on tax breaks and other incentives to bring a massive Foxconn plant to Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Democrats and others are questioning whether Foxconn can be trusted to follow through on its promises and whether this is a wise investment of billions of dollars of Wisconsin taxpayer money. In an op-ed in UrbanMilwwaukee.com, Rep. Jonathan Brostoff writes: “If we are willing to spend billions of taxpayer dollars then let’s employ Wisconsin workers, fix every pothole in our state, hire community connectors and park staff, invest in renewable energy infrastructure, fully fund our world class university system, hire teachers for our schools, and invest in the success of small businesses across our state.”

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NAACP calls for elimination of for-profit charter schools

In a highly anticipated report, the NAACP Wednesday called for elimination of for-profit charter schools and more equitable funding for all schools serving students of color. “No federal, state, or local taxpayer dollars should be used to fund for-profit charter schools, nor should public funding be sent from nonprofit charters to for-profit charter management companies,” the organization says in its report titled Quality Education for All: One School at a Time. “The widespread findings of misconduct and poor student performance in for-profit charter schools demand the elimination of these schools. Moreover, allowing for-profit entities to operate schools creates an inherent conflict of interest.”

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Legislative Update – July 27

An Assembly bill (AB-452) referred to the education committee would terminate Wisconsin’s voucher program, including special needs vouchers, and replace the achievement gap reduction program with an expansion of the SAGE program. Also, Wisconsin strikes an agreement for a massive Foxconn plant in Wisconsin, with the state providing tax credits totaling up to $3 billion over 15 years.

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Legislative Update – July 25

A provision in the Senate Republicans’ budget plan announced last week has public school advocates sounding the alarm on how it would harm districts in areas of the state with low property values. The bottom line is that, under referendum restrictions included in the Senate GOP plan, districts with low property wealth wouldn’t see any state equalized aid increases if they pass a referendum for additional spending.

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Legislative Update – July 20

More on the Senate Republicans’ budget proposal unveiled earlier this week has been unpacked, including provisions that would impact voucher schools. The Senate proposal does not include the governor’s idea to move to lifetime licenses for teachers and administrators, but instead specifies that provisional three-year licenses would be granted for new educators, administrators, and pupil services professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience. The Senate proposal also increases the score needed on a civics exam to graduate and changes parameters of Teach for America grants.

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