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Legislative Update: Rep. Gordon Hintz elected Assembly Minority Leader

State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) was re-elected Tuesday to serve as the State Assembly Minority Leader. Assembly Democrats also elected: Dianne Hesselbein, of Middleton, assistant minority leader; Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, caucus vice-chair; Mark Spreitzer, of Beloit, caucus chair; Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, caucus secretary; and Christine Sinicki, of Milwaukee, sergeant at arms.

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Most schools and districts meet expectations on 2017-18 report cards

An increasing percentage of public and private schools and public school districts met expectations on report cards issued for the 2017-18 school year compared to the prior year. Overall, 83.7 percent of rated schools meet or exceed expectations as did 96.4 percent of the state’s 422 public school districts. 

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Legislative Update: Evers names Maggie Gau his Chief of Staff, announces transition team

Governor-Elect Tony Evers on Monday announced the appointment of Maggie Gau as his Chief of Staff. Gau served as Evers’ campaign manager and previously worked as a legislative aide. Evers also appointed JoAnne Anton as director of his transition team. The five co-chairs of the transition team are: Chuck Pruitt, a partner and co-managing director of the A.B. Data Group; Amy Traynor, an Eau Claire teamer and former 2012-13 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year; Jan Allman, the president, CEO and general manager of the Marinette Marine Corp.; Dr. Veronica Gunn, the CEO of Genesis Health Consulting and a board-certified pediatrician; and Kevin Conroy, the chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

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WEAC: We must foster hate-free schools and communities

WEAC on Monday condemned a disturbing photo – spread through social media – of some Baraboo High School students giving a Nazi salute last spring during a prom photo shoot off of school premises. WEAC President Ron Martin also discussed the situation with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and they issued the following joint statement: “The photo is disgusting and completely contrary to the values and beliefs of our educator-members. Our association fully supports the district’s investigation and intention to take all appropriate responses. The Wisconsin Education Association Council works to give teachers resources so they can foster hate-free schools where all people are respected and celebrated, including racial justice in education, creating safe and welcoming schools and anti-bullying. This shameful situation makes it clear our mission is more important than ever, and we will remain vigilant.”

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Legislative Update: Senate elects leadership

With elections over, the Senate has elected its caucus leadership. Senate Republicans elected: Majority Leader – Sen. Scott Fitzgerald; Assistant Majority Leader – Sen. Dan Feyen; Senate President – Sen. Roger Roth; Senate President Pro Tempore – Sen. Howard Marklein; Caucus Chair – Sen. Van Wanggaard; and Caucus Vice Char – Sen. Patrick Testin. Senate Democrats elected: Minority Leader – Sen. Jennifer Shilling; Assistant Minority Leader – Sen. Janet Bewley; Caucus Chair – Sen. Mark Miller; and Caucus Vice-Chair – Sen. Janis Ringhand.

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Voters overwhelmingly pass school referendums totaling over $1 billion

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday sent a clear message that they strongly support their public schools, passing 19 of the 20 largest local school referendums on the ballot, totaling over $1 billion. Overall, voters statewide approved 77 of the 82 referendums, totaling $1.3 billion. “Voters came out in droves to support their public schools,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “They passed referendums to make up for what the governor and majority in the Legislature refused to fund, and they elected an educator to lead our state. This is a mandate to make education a priority again in Wisconsin.”

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