October 22, 2020

Educators to Legislative Leaders: Do Your Job

Educators to Legislative Leaders: Do Your Job Featured Image
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wears full emergency room PPE in April, saying it was perfectly safe to vote in person. Vos has since received pandemic emergency funding while thousands of other Wisconsin small businesses lost out.

In April, Assembly Speaker Vos donned full PPE, from a face mask and safety goggles to gown and gloves, to volunteer at the polls. He told Wisconsin, “You’re incredibly safe to go out.”

Six months later, Vos has still refused to convene the Do-Nothing Republican Legislature to address the crisis in Wisconsin. He has claimed pandemic emergency funding for his own business while thousands of other small businesses lost out. He also used his insider status in Madison to change the rules to benefit his own rental property company.

Wisconsin students and families are struggling to make ends meet. Public school educators are at their breaking point only two months into the school year. And the Republican-controlled state legislature hasn’t met in session for nearly 200 days.

“Educators are working day and night – in person, virtually and oftentimes both at the same time – to keep students learning,” said Ron Martin, an eighth grade teacher and WEAC president.  “In six minutes between classes, one teacher said he has to launch the next video class, sanitize his entire classroom and use the restroom. A music teacher is going classroom to  classroom with a cart, unable to allow children to sing, while simultaneously being livestreamed for at-home students.”

“But Republican legislators have failed to show up,” Martin said. “They are filing lawsuits to stop the governor from protecting our students and educators, but have no interest in doing their job.”

The Republican co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s budget committee, Sen. Alberta Darling, is also doubling down on doing nothing, saying lawmakers have done enough to fight the surging coronavirus pandemic Thursday. The state Senate has only convened three days in 2020.

Darling also said Gov. Tony Evers has all the powers he needs to deal with COVID-19, even as she and other Republican lawmakers have gone to court to try to limit his ability to act on his own.

To email your legislators, use WEAC’s Education Advocacy tool.