June 12, 2023

Educators Sound Alarm on Political Deal that Includes Test and Punish, Increasing Tax Funding of Private Vouchers

Educators Sound Alarm on Political Deal that Includes Test and Punish, Increasing Tax Funding of Private Vouchers Featured Image

The governor should stand for reading programs that support students, 90 percent public school special education funding. Armed officers in MPS usurps local control and legislates racism.

Educators in the Wisconsin Education Association Council are calling on Governor Tony Evers to veto a political deal that would hold back third graders based on standardized test scores and create a curriculum oversight commission appointed by politicians. The following statement can be attributed to Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, a teacher and WEAC President:

“This isn’t a compromise. It’s a betrayal. Wisconsin educators are outraged about the damage the forced retention of third graders based on one standardized test score on one day will do to future generations. Under this bill, students who don’t pass one standardized test are at risk for a lifetime of stigmatism. Dedicated teachers who are working tirelessly to help their students are blamed and shamed. Demoralizing educators and punishing students is the last thing struggling students need. This plan is destructive to the entire mission of Wisconsin Public Schools.

“Along with holding back third graders based on one test score, which research shows is harmful to children, proposals circulating call for historic increases in taxpayer funding for private voucher schools. Special education for private voucher school students is reimbursed at 90 percent while public schools would receive only 33 percent reimbursement.

“Additionally, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, Milwaukee Public School System administration and the Milwaukee Board of School Directors are united in their opposition of mandatory placement of armed officers in Milwaukee Public Schools. The measure would usurp local control and legislates racism that harms students. WEAC stands for equity in our schools and we act when we see injustice.

“Wisconsin is sitting on $7 billion budget surplus and this so-called funding compromise only compromises our students. A child graduating from a public school this month has never seen a state funding increase that has kept up with inflation.

“Governor Evers, WEAC calls on you to veto these proposals when they come to your desk.”