The 2019-2021 state budget has a direct impact on our children, schools, and communities. Join us in making an impact to stand up for a Wisconsin where everyone thrives!
Wisconsin Public Education Network is once again organizing to hold regional workshops to prepare our people to take an active role in making sure the budget that is passed in 2019 will be one that transforms the reality of our schools and ensures the success of our children.
Here are the 3 top ways to get involved:
- Attend one of our four regional workshops. These aren’t just for “newbies” – they’re a way to take time to connect and create local budget action plans that meet the needs of our actual communities. Whether you’re a veteran organizer, and educator, a parent, a board member, an administrator, a student, or someone totally new to and outside of the education world who just cares about kids and schools….we need YOUR VOICE to be heard to be successful!
- Join a regional team. We need your help! Each regional team needs 20-25 facilitators to help pull off successful workshops – we’re looking for facilitators and volunteers to help make these a success and to help with our planning teams. But whether or not you can attend the workshops, you can still be part of the budget action! There will be plenty of opportunity to get involved throughout the year. Connect with the regional liaison closest to you to learn more about getting involved now or later (see below for contact info).
- Spread the word. Please help us make sure Wisconsin takes advantage of this opportunity to come together to speak in one voice for our kids and schools! Please share these opportunities and graphics widely with your own district, groups, lists, and on social media. http://bit.ly/WiBudget
The four workshops will be held in
- Kaukauna (March 2) Contact: Marcia Engen, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Middleton (March 3) Contact: Sandy Whisler, email@example.com
- Eau Claire (March 9) Education Contact: Chris Hambuch-Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org; General contact Selika Ducksworth Lawton email@example.com
- Milwaukee (March 10) Education Contact: Jenni Hofschulte firstname.lastname@example.org; General contact: Jarrett English, email@example.com
Public education advocates will be joined at these trainings by our organizing partners from the ACLU of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Voices (a collective of non-profit organizations), and Wisconsin Leadership Development (WiLD) project. Click here to register, and please share this link widely: http://bit.ly/WiBudget (shareable facebook post here; printable flier with QR code to registration in color or black & white). The training is just $5 includes lunch a a full day of proven-successful, action-focused training with experienced local and professional organizers.
Click here to register for a Budget Action Workshop near you: http://bit.ly/WiBudget
2019-2021 Budget Resources:
Gov. Evers is scheduled to deliver the official budget request on Feb. 28. After the budget is unveiled, the Joint Finance Committee will hold public hearings on the budget around the state. Lawmakers will then debate and amend the budget and submit their version to the Governor to be signed into law. The Governor has line-item veto authority but cannot add additional items to the budget when signing the document.
- Proposed Department of Public Instruction Budget
- Agency requests for 2019-2021 Budget
- Official Dept. of Administration budget website
- Wisconsin Budget Project: A Path to Shared Prosperity
- Wisconsin Policy Forum: Special Education Funding in Wisconsin
Budget News of Note
Budget Information and Legislative Contacts
Members of the Joint Finance Committee:
- Co-Chair Sen. Alberta Darling (R) (SD 8) River Hill
- Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren (R) (AD 89) Marinette
- Vice Chair Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) (AD 31) Clinton
- Vice Chair Sen. Luther Olsen (R) (SD 14) Ripon
- Sen. Howard Marklein (R) (SD 17) Spring Green
- Sen. Duey Stroebel (R) (SD 20) Saukville
- Sen. Thomas Tiffany (R) (SD 12) Hazelhurst
- Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R) (SD 9) Oostburg
- Ranking Dem Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) (SD 27) Middleton
- Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D) (SD 6) Milwaukee
- Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R) (AD 30) River Falls
- Rep. Terry Katsma (R) (AD 26) Oostburg
- Rep. Mark Born (R) (AD 39) Beaver Dam
- Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R) (AD 55) Neenah
- Rep. Chris Taylor (D) (AD 76) Madison
- Rep. Evan Goyke (D) (AD 18) Milwaukee
- Committee Clerk: Joe Malkasian: (608) 264-8314 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual email addresses for Joint Finance Committee members:
You can email the entire Joint Finance committee by sending written testimony to:BudgetComments@legis.
Use subject line: Testimony on 2019-2021 Budget for Public Record and cc your own legislators.
Testimony Tips, Tools & Resources
Helpful Handouts and other tools:
- Joint Finance Committee Hearings: Everything You Need to Know
- Tips for Building Relationships with Elected Officials
- Pro-Tips for Testifying — BUDGET EDITION! (pdf) jpg version here
- Graphic: How To Testify if You Can’t Attend JFC Hearings in person
- Testimony Pro-Tips + How to Testify if You Can’t Attend JFC Hearings in Person (half-sheet handout)
- Public Narrative: How to tell YOUR story in a way that makes an impact (excerpt from WiLD Budget Action Workshop guide)
- Start with a clear ask: make explicit exactly what change you want to see. BE SPECIFIC
- Tell your story. Why do you care so much about this issue? Why does it matter to you? Share specific moments that demonstrate the impacts of this issue in your life and your community or school.
- Connect it to others. Why should others care? How does the issue that matters to you matter to all of us? SHOW this through specific examples of how we are connected.
- Demonstrate the urgency. What change do you want to see and why does this change need to happen now?
- Be positive and aspirational. Focus on what you are FOR, not what you are against. Remember: legislators could go back to a “base budget.” They need to know what your local schools need to meet the needs of all students.
- Get the facts and MAKE IT LOCAL. Avoid making blanket statements and focus on the local impacts of the state budget. Talk to your superintendent or business manager and understand what your district needs. Is $200/pupil enough? How much spendable aid per pupil does your district need? What would it look like if your district saw an increase in special education funding? And take advantage of our team of experts ready to vet your testimony for accuracy.
- Be prepared to use your time wisely. Individuals will be allowed two minutes each at the microphone. Always start by stating your full name and city/district. Groups of 3 or more will be allowed 5 minutes total.
- Practice! 2 minutes of testimony is about 250 words. Make sure your story is clear, vivid and paints a local picture of why you care — and that you include your budget request. Be prepared to deliver your testimony in 2 minutes, as public testimony is usually strictly timed.
- Be memorable. Consider purchasing one of our Go Public t-shirts (available at our table at the hearings, or in advance through your regional coordinators). Or bring school spirit by wearing your local district’s colors & gear. Having us spread out in the audience with matching shirts is a very strong visual statement of support for students and public schools.
- Stand united. Group testimony gets the attention of listeners and can send a message of unity. Consider bringing a group of parents, educators, administrators, board members, and community leaders with you. Be sure all of your names are included on the written testimony you submit to the clerk.
- Show solidarity respectfully. Clapping, cheering and signage is very strictly NOT ALLOWED at JFC hearings, and those in violation of this rule may be removed. One effective way to show appreciation or support for the testimony of others is to silently stand in support while they are speaking.
- Visual aids—photos of people you are talking about, or your school, or a chart or graph can be effective for visual learners, and can help personalize your story.
- Amplify your message! Once your testimony is ready to go, share it widely! It’s not enough that legislators hear what you have to say. Make sure your friends and neighbors know why you are standing up and speaking out, and what concerns are most pressing for your schools. Consider submitting your testimony as a letter to the editor of your local paper, share it online on your team’s website, post it on social media, and make a video sharing your concerns! Use #GoPublic and #WIBudget2017 and send your stories to hdb@WisconsinNetwork.org to help us track the show of support for our public schools.
- Make it official! When submitting written testimony (by email or snail mail), be sure to ask that your budget testimony be entered into the public record. Bring 3 hard copies of your testimony to the JFC hearing with you to present for the same purpose (one copy for the clerk, one for our team when you check in, and one to read). Use subject line: BUDGET TESTIMONY FOR PUBLIC RECORD. Make sure your message includes your full name and address, and include the testimony in the body of the email (not as an attachment).
- Let YOUR elected officials know you testified! Even if your elected officials aren’t members of the Joint Finance Committee, they will vote on the budget and need to know your concerns. CC your own legislators on all email correspondence to the JFC, and send them written copies of your oral testimony if you present it at the hearing. Find your legislators here.
2017-2019 Budget Archive
- See the archive of our 2017-2019 budget resources at: http://www.WisconsinNetwork.org/blog/2017-budget-archive.
This page is updated regularly as new budget information emerges. Please check back often to stay informed and up-to-date on budget news and actions!