‘Local activism around public education may just transform Wisconsin’s political culture’

The Progressive Magazine this summer took a close look at the history of Governor Walker’s attacks on public schools, educators and students. In an article that recounts the devastating impact of the Act 10 law that undermined collective bargaining, as well as deep cuts to state funding of public schools, author Jennifer C. Berkshire finds reason for optimism in a state known for its fighting spirit and strong support for public schools. “But there is another, more hopeful story to be told about Wisconsin, seven years after Walker officially kicked off his war on labor,” Berkshire writes. “It involves parents and teachers and local grassroots activists coming together to fight for the public schools in their communities.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association

“Our members understand that the union is them,” and that is why Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association members are always ready to take action on behalf of students and schools. That is what MTEA President Kim Schroeder told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen as she interviewed MTEA leaders for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “Wisconsin educators are writing labor history,” added MTEA Vice President Amy Mizialko. “Scott Walker doesn’t write the last chapter. We write the last chapter with our parents, our students, our members, and our community.”

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Article focusing on Arena, Wisconsin, examines the deep challenges and heartbreak faced by rural schools and communities

A New York Times article focusing on the closing this week of Arena Community Elementary School in the River Valley School District examines the heartbreak felt by students, parents and the community as they lose not only their school but the centerpiece of their community. “Administrators say that unforgiving budgets, a dearth of students and an aging population have made it impossible to keep the school open. For the first time since the 1800s, the village of Arena has no school,” the article states.

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Democrat Caleb Frostman wins Senate District 1 seat

WEAC-recommended candidate Caleb Frostman won election to Senate District 1 in a special election Tuesday. His victory attracted national attention because Frostman, a Democrat, won in a district that went for Donald Trump by more than 17 points two years ago and for Scott Walker by 23 points in 2014. The district has been held by Republicans for over 40 years.

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