This is news for and about WEAC members, including state politics and education issues.

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‘Just like in K-12 schools, educators in tech schools are there to help our students succeed.’

WEAC Fox Valley Technical College Education Support Professionals President Gary Brilowski took time to discuss the important work of technical college ESPs and faculty with WEAC Secretary-Treasurer Arlene Braden. “I’m blown away by the magnitude of programming and skill level of the Educational Support Professionals and faculty in the tech college setting,” Braden said. “The way the faculty and ESP units work together is a good example for locals across Wisconsin.”


Action by WEAC members leads to withdrawal of proposal that threatened teacher rights

Due to the efforts of WEAC members, a proposal to seriously threaten teacher rights won’t move forward, the state education agency announced Thursday. Thousands of WEAC members answered the call to action to provide testimony on proposed changes, which included the licensure system as well as sweeping revisions to teacher discipline procedures. While WEAC collaborated on the system changes to support the goal of easing the teacher shortage, our members determined the discipline changes would push professionals away from teaching. “WEAC members stood up in huge numbers to get involved,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, and it paid off.


Legislative Update – February 15 – Bill that severely threatens student privacy up for a vote on Tuesday

A bill, introduced by Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, that severely threatens student privacy under the guise of protecting teachers is up for an Assembly committee vote next Tuesday. So far, there’s no companion bill, and WEAC continues to monitor. In an op-ed column written this week, teacher Andy Waity, president of Madison Teachers Inc., says this bill aims to restore a system that has failed to protect staff and students and, in some cases, has served to increase tensions in an already challenging climate.


Family’s experiences in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin illustrate impact of political climate on education, unions

In an Education Minnesota article, Sparta, Wisconsin, teacher Lauren Cody says her mother’s involvement in the union as a Minnesota Education Support Professional has instilled in her a deep appreciation of the importance of the union for educators and students. The article emphasizes the negative impact of Act 10 on educators and education in Wisconsin and also the impact of similar legislation in Iowa, where Lauren’s brother, Kalyn, teaches. Mother Deb Cody says the experiences of her children in Wisconsin and Iowa illustrate how critical it is that educators in Minnesota work to maintain their much friendlier environment for unions and public education.


98.3 percent of Wisconsin communities provide free 4K

With the addition of three public school districts offering 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) to children and their families for the 2017-18 school year, Wisconsin now has 98.3 percent of communities that provide free public education to 4-year-olds. “Research is clear that young children develop important skills and gain a foundation for future learning through 4-year-old kindergarten programs,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Quality 4K offers rich experiences, including play-based learning that helps kids learn to work cooperatively and get along as well as expanding academic knowledge. This truly sets the stage for future success.”


Country needs ‘to do more to end these senseless shootings,’ NEA president says

“Our hearts are broken yet again by the senseless and tragic shooting in our nation’s public schools, this time in Parkland, Florida,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement Wednesday after a gunman killed at least 17 students and educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “As a state and a country, we can and must do more to ensure that everyone who walks through our school doors — educator, student, parent or community member — is safe and free from violence.”