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Legislative Update: Joint Finance Committee to take up education issues

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will meet next Thursday, May 23, to take up funding for K-12 education. GOP lawmakers have said they won’t support the $1.4 billion increase the governor is proposing, but they have promised an increase. They may also take up voucher schools, independently run charters and open enrollment.

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Report gives Wisconsin’s ‘abysmal’ charter school policies a grade of F

Wisconsin charter school policies are “abysmal” and deserve a grade of F, according to a new report card from the National Education Association. The report – titled State Charter Laws: NEA Report Card – zeroes in on the weak regulation and lax oversight that enable for-profit organizations to open and manage charters in most states.

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Madison’s Michael Jones honored by 100 Black Men of Madison

Madison teacher Michael Jones – a member of WEAC and Vice President of Madison Teachers Inc. – has been presented an Outstanding Educator Award by 100 Black Men of Madison. Floyd Rose, President of 100 Black Men of Madison, said the award recognizes “those educators and mentors who have demonstrated an extraordinary sense of humility and a strong commitment to continual improvement, based upon a fundamental motivation to inspire student success.”

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State Superintendent Stanford Taylor asks districts to review graduation policies as they relate to American Indian traditions

As the school year winds down and graduation ceremonies take place, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor has sent a reminder to Wisconsin school superintendents to review their policies regarding American Indian ceremonial traditions. “Throughout Wisconsin, many school districts already recognize the importance of American Indian students wearing eagle feathers, traditional regalia, and other items,” Stanford Taylor wrote, noting that many school districts addressed their policies in 2017 after the Department of Public Instruction asked them to connect with sovereign tribal nations and discuss with tribal leaders ways to recognize and honor tribal traditions and practices. In the past, some school districts have prohibited students from wearing items of religious and cultural significance at graduation ceremonies and school-sponsored events.

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Two Education Support Professionals win WEAC ESP scholarships

Two exceptional Education Support Professionals have been awarded 2019 WEAC ESP scholarships. The winners of the $1,000 scholarships are Terri Taylor, who works in Milwaukee Public Schools and is a member of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association and the Milwaukee Educational Assistants Association, and Taneka Golden, who works in Racine public schools and is a member of Racine Educators United.

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Spotlight on Locals: Owen-Withee Education Association

The strength of the Owen-Withee Education Association, leaders say, comes from its focus on students first and on having “home-grown teachers” who are involved in the community. “We see our students in and out of school,” OWEA leader Russ Weiler told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column, “and we are always working to keep our schools and community strong for our students.”

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