Category Archive: Legislative Update

Apr 02

Legislative Update: Education committee to take up student privacy and more

The Assembly Education Committee will hold public hearings on three bills at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 4, at the state Capitol. On the docket is a bill to expand student information schools can release to the public, safety drills and including arts opportunities in school report cards. To weigh in on any of these bills, …

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Mar 22

Legislative Update: Judge blocks GOP’s lame duck session laws

A Dane County judge has issued a temporary injunction preventing enforcement of Republicans lame duck laws, ruling the Legislature didn’t lawfully convene. Governor Tony Evers immediately called on Attorney General Josh Kaul to “take whatever steps are necessary” to withdraw from the multi-state lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. On Friday, GOP lawmakers went to the 3rd District Court of Appeals seeking an emergency stay of the judge’s ruling.

Feb 28

Governor Evers supports public schools, educators in his first State Budget Address

Governor Tony Evers Thursday night unveiled a state budget increasing state funding of public K-12 schools by $1.4 billion over the next two years, requiring that teachers receive preparation time as part of their workday, and achieving two-thirds state funding of education without raising property taxes. 

In addition, he made the case for higher educator pay, saying, “Wisconsin pays our public school teachers less than the national average… We need to do our part to make sure our educators know that the work they do is valued and to use these funding increases to do everything they can to keep our talented educators here in Wisconsin.”

“Governor Evers listened to the people and is making public schools a priority,” said Ron Martin, a teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “Through this budget, he reveals the heart of an educator – embracing opportunity for all students, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and respecting the noble profession of teaching.”

Feb 28

59 school referendums totaling nearly $1.2 billion are on April 2 ballot

On April 2, Wisconsin residents will vote on 59 school referendums totaling nearly $1.2 billion. That is on top of more than $2 billion in school referendums approved by voters last year, including $1.37 billion in November.

Feb 25

Evers to propose freezing voucher and charter school enrollments

Governor Tony Evers is expected to include in his state budget plan this week proposals to freeze the number of students attending private voucher and charter schools, place tougher teacher certification standards on private schools accepting students with special needs, and abolish the law that allows Milwaukee Public Schools to be taken over by private entities.

Dec 18

WEAC members continue to provide budget feedback to Governor-Elect Evers

WEAC member Rick Erickson of Bayfield (photo) leads a discussion during Monday’s state budget listening session hosted by Governor-Elect Tony Evers. The Superior hearing was one in a series designed for the governor-elect to hear from citizens about what they would like to see in the state budget proposal he will present to the Legislature in January. WEAC members were also well-represented at earlier hearings in Green Bay and Wausau, and are also participating by providing their feedback on an online form created by WEAC for WEAC members.

Nov 26

A new era supportive of public education and educators is about to begin, Evers says in phone call to WEAC members

Governor-Elect Tony Evers personally thanked WEAC members for the critically important role they played in helping him win this month’s “watershed” election that will change the way Wisconsin state government treats public schools and educators. “The hard work of the campaign is over. The hard work of governing and making sure that we are being supportive of the people who work in the schools begins now in earnest,” Evers said during a Tele-Town Hall conversation with WEAC members throughout the state. All WEAC members were invited to participate in the phone call last week.

Jun 04

Public school supporters call for results at final School Funding Commission hearing

Wisconsin public education supporters united at the Capitol Monday to send a final message to members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, which is holding the last of its statewide tour of public hearings in Madison. “We believe every student in every public school in Wisconsin deserves equal access and equal opportunity to receive an equally excellent public education,” said Heather DuBois Bourenane, Executive Director of Wisconsin Public Education Network. “The state is not currently meeting this obligation. To do so, our public school districts and community members have made clear their needs for a funding formula that is predictable, sustainable, transparent, and adequate to meet student needs.”

May 29

Legislative Update – May 29 – What’s next for the School Funding Commission?

WEAC members for the past half-year spoke up at a series of legislative public hearings about the resources we need to adequately teach our students, and now leaders of the panel holding the forums are talking about what may come next. The final hearing is set Monday, June 4, in Madison. The co-chairs of the commission say they may address critical issues such as declining enrollment and special education reimbursements. Particularly telling was that Republicans Senator Luther Olsen and Representative Joel Kitchens don’t anticipate they’ll touch school vouchers or open enrollment – both topics they said were in the scope of their work when the commission formed in December.

Apr 19

Legislative Update – April 19

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will again take up a case about the independent authority of the elected state superintendent. … The next School Funding Commission public hearing is Monday in Oshkosh. … The governor signed a slew of bills into law, including the child tax rebate and sales tax holiday.

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