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News that matters to Wisconsin kids and their public schools, action opportunities you can take right now, and local action spotlights.
NEWS THAT MATTERS TO KIDS & PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- BIDEN NAMES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION NOMINEE
President-Elect Joe Biden has named Dr. Miguel Cardona as his pick for the next U.S. Secretary of Education. Cardona is the Commissioner of Connecticut Schools, a former public elementary school teacher and principal, and was the first Latinx person to serve in Connecticut’s highest education office.
- JOINT FINANCE COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS NAMED
The makeup of the legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, which hears public opinion on state spending and makes official budget recommendations, has been announced. Visit our Budget HQ page to see the full list of appointments from the state senate and house.
- LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY’S COVID PROPOSAL FALLS SHORT
Our executive director, Heather DuBois Bourenane, is quoted in an UpNorthNews article speaking about the need for specific, ample COVID-19-related funding support for Wisconsin’s public schools in 2021.
- KIDS FORWARD NAMES NEW CEO
Michele Mackey will become the new CEO of Madison-based statewide policy advocacy organization Kids Forward on January 1.
- 2021 RESOURCES: BUDGET, ELECTIONS, DIGITAL ACTIONS
Supporters of Wisconsin’s excellent public schools will hit the ground running in 2021. We have a set of 2021 action resources available on our website to help:
- BUDGET HQ: Everything you need to know about the 2021-23 state spending proposals, the priorities our kids deserve, and what we can do to help put our public schools at the center of the budget.
- ELECTION HQ: The one-stop shop of 2021 spring election resources, including a Superintendent Election HQ and some basic information about voting in local school board elections.
- DIGITAL ACTIONS: This page will continue to be updated with the digital actions you can take right now to rally around well-resourced and equitable public schools in 2021. We are also launching weekly digital office hours on Monday afternoons in 2021–for advocates to drop in with ideas and questions about their own digital advocacy.
- CANDIDATE NOMINATION PAPERS
Candidates for the non-partisan State Superintendent of Public Instruction election still need the public’s help gathering 2,000-4,000 signatures by January 5 to appear on the ballot for the primary on February 16. Please visit our Superintendent Election HQ for more information and direct links to all seven candidates’ nomination papers.
- BUDGET ACTION TRAININGS
Stay tuned for details about upcoming budget action trainings with the Wisconsin Public Education Network, the ACLU of Wisconsin, and other partners, leading up to the Joint Finance Committee hearings in the spring. The first one will be held on January 23.
LOCAL ACTION SPOTLIGHT: UPDATES FROM AROUND THE STATE
- 2021 SUPERINTENDENT CANDIDATE FORUM
The Wisconsin Public Education Network is hosting a virtual forum for the 2021 candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction on Thursday, January 7 at 7:00 p.m., co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. RSVP here. Candidates will answer prepared questions; we also seek input from the public–if you would like to submit a question for the candidates, fill out this form.
- GOVERNOR’S BUDGET LISTENING SESSION
Nearly 500 educators, caregivers, taxpayers and students showed up at Governor Evers’s budget listening session on schools and education last Wednesday to discuss their needs and priorities for the 2021 budget and how it will affect our state’s schools. Many public school supporters spoke about special education funding, teacher shortages, mental health, school nurses, early childhood funding and more. See the end of this newsletter for a spotlight of a student leader whose attendance earned a shout-out from Governor Evers and whose courage is contagious! A recording of the full listening session is available on WisconsinEye.
- FINAL 2020 ACTION WORKSHOP
Local-level advocates around the state joined our final workshop of 2020, where we built local action plans which we can use to organize around the spring elections, the biannual budget, and educational equity and racial justice.
**STUDENT** CHANGEMAKER APPRECIATION
Spotlight on Mia, a ninth-grader in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Mia took it upon herself to show up at Governor Evers’s listening session on schools and education last week. She went on the record and spoke about what she–and all public school students in Wisconsin!–need from our leaders heading into the 2021 budget:
Your investment shows what’s most important,” Mia says, “so youth should be at the top of your investment.”
Mia’s conviction makes a huge impact and puts students at the table. She even got a direct shout-out from Governor Evers as the listening session ended. Here’s Mia in her own words, explaining what motivated her to speak:
PARTNER & ACTION RESOURCES