November 8, 2023

Ed Advocacy Update: Minority Teacher Loans, “Parents Bill of Rights”

Ed Advocacy Update: Minority Teacher Loans, “Parents Bill of Rights” Featured Image

WEAC Education Advocacy Update #9

Assembly Passes Bill to End Race-Based Higher Education Programs including Minority Teacher Loans.

Before passing along party lines, the Assembly approved an amendment to define disadvantaged students as those who have experienced “any unfavorable economic, familial, geographic, physical, or other personal hardship.” A student’s race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or identity as a member of a group without regard to individual qualities can’t be considered. Read more

Public Hearing Held on So-Called Parental Rights Bill

The Assembly Family Law Committee has held a hearing on bill AB-510  This is very similar to a bill introduced last session and vetoed by Governor Evers. Republicans attempted to override the veto of this bill last session and failed.  Here is the Governors previous veto message.

Assembly Ed Committee Meets

The Assembly Education Committee has taken up the following bills:

  • AB-223 Opioid Antagonists in Schools. Maintaining a supply of usable opioid antagonist at a school.
  • AB-271 (SB-267) Recovery High Schools. A grant program for recovery high schools.
  • AB-575 DPI Training Program. The mental health training program provided by the Department of Public Instruction.

Bills We’re Watching

Anti-Book Banning

A proposal to ban book banning now has a number, SB 615. It would prohibit government or government-funded institutions from banning books, ensuring that citizens have unrestricted access to diverse literary materials. A similar law has been successfully enacted in Illinois, setting a noteworthy precedent that reinforces a commitment to upholding constitutional rights.

Circulating for Co-Sponsorship

Healthy School Meals for All

WEAC President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen was at the unveiling of the re-introduction of this bill, which would provide free school breakfast and lunch to all students, no exceptions. This is something WEAC fought for in the state budget, but it was stripped out by Republicans, so we’re excited it’s back. Read the Memo

Related articles:

Librarian in Every School (LRB 4830). This bill would require public and privately run charter schools to employ a licensed instructional library media specialist on a full-time basis for each school in the district; and voucher schools would be required to employ a licensed instructional library media specialist, or an individual with a degree in library science or an equivalent degree, on a full-time basis. A revenue limit adjustment would be created to cover the costs of this requirement.

Wisconsin Apprenticeship Week (LRB-5070-LRB-5049). November 13 to 19, 2023.

Longtime Dem operative Sachin Chheda named executive director of DPI

Chheda worked on the state superintendent’s 2021 campaign. He also worked for the campaigns of Justice Janet Protasiewicz, Dem Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and for the campaign and office of former Dem Gov. Jim Doyle. Former Executive Director Thomas McCarthy was named a deputy state superintendent, alongside Deputy State Superintendent John Johnson.