December 17, 2020

The People’s Budget: Listening Session on Education

The People’s Budget: Listening Session on Education Featured Image
Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin

Work on the 2021-23 state budget is set to ramp up in the Legislature soon and more than 700 Wisconsinites proved they are ready to advocate for education funding by taking part in a governor’s listening session.

WEAC members were out in full force to bring their firsthand experiences to the forefront and discussed personal stories about the safety of students and staff during the pandemic, along with the importance of funding for educator pay, additional staff and updated facilities.

One Monona Grove band teacher urged that the budget include provisions for educators to have a voice in all workplace issues, including the need for the state to invest in modern and safe air quality measures.

Professionals who work directly with students stressed the importance of expanding the number of school nurses and the availability of mental health services. Also discussed as priorities by participants were many of WEAC’s priorities such as student loan debt relief and access to high quality childcare and four-year-old Kindergarten.

“This is a time when Wisconsin cannot cut back on our investments in children’s futures,” WEAC President Ron Martin said. “The heartbreaking stories of the stress and barriers this pandemic has caused in the lives of students and educators must be acknowledged and state leaders must be responsive. WEAC members stand ready to advocate fully in our home districts and statewide to be sure the next state budget meets the challenging needs of this time.”

WEAC members applauded Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and their staff for listening to educators and the public.

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