Spotlight on Locals: La Crosse Education Association

In her latest “Spotlight on Locals” column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen visits with leaders of the La Crosse Education Association and says it didn’t take long to determine that one element of strength in the La Crosse Education Association is its collective advocacy on behalf of students and public education. “LEA members have never been afraid to act collectively and to speak up when changes in legislation that will affect their students and their profession are proposed,” she writes.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court bars access to public records created during union recertification elections

The decision blocks unions’ access to a public record of the employees who have voted as of the mid-point of the 20-day election period. Madison Teachers Inc., which filed the lawsuit, was not seeking a record of “how” employees voted (that is rightfully kept confidential), but only a list of voters who had cast a ballot. MTI said the ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the Open Records law and is a blow to transparency and open government.

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Examination finds ‘significant concerns’ over Education Savings Accounts

A new policy brief published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) examines the emergence of ESA policies and makes recommendations for policy makers who are considering adopting or expanding these programs. The policy brief, The State of Education Savings Account Programs in the United States, found significant concerns with ESA programs and a stunning lack of research evidence to support ongoing calls for continued expansion. 

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Legislative Update – February 2

A school funding commission created by the Legislature met Friday, February 2, in Milwaukee, with invited testimony from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Southeast Wisconsin Schools Alliance and a voucher lobbyist group. The hearing was one of a handful planned around the state to inform the next biennium budget. Senator Luther Olsen opened the meeting, repeating his stance that making changes to school funding requires money in order to make sure there aren’t schools that win and other schools that lose. Olsen said school districts need to be held harmless in any proposal or there will never be enough support in the Legislature to pass it.  Highlights of the Milwaukee Public Schools testimony included support for mental health needs, transportation needs and literacy issues. The Alliance highlighted issues affecting schools, including declining enrollment and the need for local control of school start dates.

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WEAC celebrates ParaPros in Wisconsin Public Schools!

Wisconsin’s public schools work because educators give their all every day. WEAC has launched a new campaign to celebrate the role of one group of those educators – the paraprofessionals – or ParaPros! Watch for our campaign on YouTube, Facebook and even Pinterest – and when you see it, please share. It’s up to all of us, working together, to celebrate the great work of every public school educator.

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