October 31, 2021

Continue to Make Case for Our Right to Negotiate

All Wisconsin legislative Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors of a proposal to restore educators’ freedom to negotiate with our employers.

WEAC members have sent hundreds of letters to our elected officials and our advocacy has made a difference. There is a lot of work yet to do – no legislative Republicans have yet registered support. Let’s make sure we are on the record with our elected officials on both sides of the aisle by sending a letter today.

Even if you’ve already sent a letter, it’s time to send another. Let your legislators know you’re paying attention by sending a thank you or asking them to hear your voice and represent educators the same as their other constituents.

Collective Bargaining Action Alert

Committee Holds Hearing on Rigged Redistricting Maps

Assembly and Senate committees have held a joint hearing on legislative and congressional maps proposed by Republican leaders (SB 621/AB 624). The Republican maps are different from those drawn by the governor’s People’s Maps Commission. Instead of creating more representative legislative boundaries, experts say the Republican maps would move lines on the map to give the party an advantage in elections for years to come.

The proposed maps are worse than the current maps, which a panel of federal ruled unconstitutional, going as far as splitting up 48 Wisconsin cities.

Republican leaders said they intend to vote on the maps before the fall floor period concludes November 11, so educators are encouraged to contact legislators now to voice concern.

Take Action for Fair Maps

Bill to Add More Reading Tests for K-2 Heads to Governor’s Desk

A bill adding more literacy tests for young students is now heading to the governor’s desk. AB 446 / SB-454 would require school boards to assess our youngest learners three times a year and to create a personal reading plan for K-2 students who score below the 25th percentile based on a screening assessment, calling for additional testing to identify those students. The bill does not indicate how additional assessments would be funded and draws questions – including from the Department of Public Instruction – as to how more testing will improve literacy and provide educators with necessary funding and tools to conduct increased interventions. The majority of federal funds, including reading teachers paid with funds from Title 1, cannot be used to comply with the language of the bill. Watch a short video from the Assembly hearing and read this related story.

Assembly Education Committee Passes Bills

The following bills were passed by the Assembly Education Committee:

September 11 Observance (SB 398 / AB 405). Adds September 11 to the list of observance days in schools. WEAC has registered in favor of this bill.

Transferring into Voucher Programs (SB 608 /  AB-621). This bill would allow a pupil who changes residence to transfer from the Racine or Milwaukee voucher programs into the statewide voucher program.