February 4, 2021

Education Advocacy Update: WEAC Signs onto American Rescue Plan Letter

Education Advocacy Update: WEAC Signs onto American Rescue Plan Letter Featured Image

WEAC is joining other groups in calling on Senator Johnson to support President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, urging him to take action to support this vital legislation.

“We must act quickly and boldly to get our country and state back on track,” the letter states. “We are urging your support of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan as a starting point for Congress to put together a robust economic recovery package.”

“Flexible, direct aid is now needed to avoid deep cuts in vital public services and more layoffs… at the state and local levels,” our letter continues, noting that frontline workers like nurses, teachers, EMS, childcare providers and others have continued working throughout the pandemic to keep communities safe and healthy.

The American Rescue Plan includes $600 billion to support public services, including $350 billion in flexible aid to state and local governments, education funding, public transit funding, increased unemployment benefits, raising the minimum wage, direct cash payments, and eradicating the virus by providing funding for testing, contact tracing, vaccine distribution, and PPE.

Read the Letter

Hearing Held on State Employee Return to Office Bill

A Senate committee has heard public testimony on legislation that would require the governor, by the end of February, to give lawmakers plan for when all state agency employees will return to the office (SB-38).

The provision is one of several originally in Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ COVID bill, AB-1, but pulled out after Senate and Assembly Republicans couldn’t reach agreement. In addition to this bill, stand-alone bills we’re watching, resulting from items pulled out of the original COVID bill include these two, which have been referred to the Senate Education Committee:

  • Extracurricular Activities(SB-039). Participation in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities and school district membership in an interscholastic athletic association in the 2021-22 school year.
  • Open Enrollment and Vouchers(SB-041). Applications for the full-time open enrollment program in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years and the family income requirement for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program in the 2021-22 school year.