Legislative Update – May 28

The Assembly Education Committee is holding hearings this week on several bills including ones that would open the door to more exceptions in special teacher licensing areas, change the way out-of-state teachers can be licensed to teach in Wisconsin, and prohibit schools from “lunch shaming” students whose families are not able to pay for lunch.

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Joint Finance Committee passes education budget that provides just a fraction of what Evers has requested

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Thursday voted – 11-4 along party lines – to advance an education budget providing a fraction of what Governor Tony Evers proposed: a $500 million increase, versus the $1.4 billion Evers has proposed in his People’s Budget. “Politicians don’t stand face-to-face with children who need extra help,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “They don’t spend hours in the evening communicating with families to make the difference for students. They don’t accept declining pay and benefits and increasing stress for the privilege to educate. But we do.”

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Racine educators, students, parents, community members demand a budget that supports students and educators

Dozens of Racine educators, students, parents and community members packed a school board meeting Monday night to demand a budget that supports all students and gives educators the tools they need to help students succeed. “I realize public school districts across this state are in crisis mode,” said Racine Educators United President Angelina Cruz. “But I strongly believe in the collective power of educators and community to fight back for what’s best for kids.”

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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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Legislative Update: Republicans strip Evers’ budget of key items

The Joint Finance Committee Thursday killed a plan for $1.4 billion in federal funding that would have helped fund schools, roads and healthcare. The party-line vote to deny full Medicaid expansion was followed by a vote on a huge package of recommended budget provisions that would have increased special education funding and teacher quality measures, plus require transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded private schools. “Wisconsin educators and parents have turned out in droves to be clear about our No. 1 priority – our students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Our dedication is strong – we will continue to advocate in the best interest of our students for equitable funding for public schools.”

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Legislative Update: May 3

GOP lawmakers are formally taking steps to stop Medicaid expansion and strip out key education provisions from Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal, including school funding fixes that would result in more tax dollars actually entering our schoolhouse doors instead of being used for property tax reductions. The Joint Finance co-chairs have released a memo outlining 131 proposals they plan to pull from the budget when the committee meets May 9, including measures to phase out voucher schools and fix public school funding flaws.

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