See all monthly Wisconsin Public Education Network Action Newsletters on our website at WisconsinNetwork.org/Action-News. If you have news, actions, achievements, or updates you’d like us to include in our next newsletter, submit them at this form!
Read on for 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
- GOVERNOR ACTS ON SEVERAL EDUCATION BILLS
In early November, Governor Evers signed several education-related bills into law and vetoed others: the signed bills include one requiring DPI to publish districts’ financial information in an online portal, and the vetoed includes a bill overhauling the reading readiness program. Read more from WASB here, and see our Education Vote Tracker here.
- WAUKESHA PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNITE GRIEVING COMMUNITIES
We join the state in sharing immense grief and sympathy for all who lost friends and loved ones in Waukesha in November, and our gratitude for the educators and public schools that have stepped up to provide safe counseling, meals and support for the Southeastern Wisconsin communities experiencing unimaginable challenges. See our Facebook post here. The DPI has put together some helpful resources for families and educators, including this guide for Talking with Children about Grief and Traumatic Events. These Crisis Support Lines may also be helpful for those struggling to process the news or dealing with trauma:
For support through text message, text HOPELINE to 741741;
For YouthLine, call 877-968-8491 or text TEEN2TEEN to 839863;
For the National Parent Hotline, call 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736);
For Disaster Distress Line, call 1-800-985-5990
- GERRYMANDERED MAPS VETOED, THEN DEFENDED
The state legislature passed a legislative maps proposal to Governor Evers along party lines in November, which he then vetoed because they did not reflect the political neutrality of the People’s Maps Commission—sending the redistricting battle to the courts. On December 1, the State Supreme Court announced that it would make “minimal” changes to the legislature’s maps, a “win” for the Republican legislative majority.
- ANTI-ANTIRACIST EDUCATION BILL POISED FOR SCHEDULING IN SENATE
The Senate Education Committee passed SB 411 this week, which seeks to prohibit anti-racist and anti-sexist curricula and trainings in schools. The bill had already passed the Assembly and could now be scheduled for a vote in the Senate.
- EQUITY IN ACTION WORKSHOP SERIES CONCLUDING SOON
The final two workshops in our Equity in Action Workshop Series are on December 1 and December 15, both from 6:30-8:00pm. ORGANIZING 102, on December 15, will help local public school champions build an actionable plan for 2022 and beyond, get started on campaigns (using support from Wisconsin Public Education Network wherever it may be helpful), and grow a reliable community of public school advocates in their local communities. Register here.
- JOIN WAES IN CALLING FOR SPECIAL SESSION
The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (WAES) Board of Directors, which oversees Wisconsin Public Education Network, has called for a special legislative session to fund special education at at least a 60% reimbursement rate. Public school supporters who believe in fair funding for special education students are encouraged to join WAES in this call by contacting their state legislators and the governor’s office.
- SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORT NETWORK
A loose network of peer support for pro-public school board members (current, former, and potential), and other public school champions directly involved in school board campaigns or matters, is underway—the next drop-in meeting for this network is next Thursday, December 9. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact HDB@WisconsinNetwork.org!
LOCAL ACTION SPOTLIGHT: UPDATES FROM AROUND THE STATE
Save the date: The 8th Annual Wisconsin Public Education Summer Summit will take place at Eau Claire North High School on Thursday, July 21, 2022, hosted by the Eau Claire Area School District! We are excited to bring public school champions together in Western Wisconsin to gather around a memorable theme: “Public Schools Unite Us.”
Green Bay Area Public School District elementary schools are going above and beyond to keep their community safe by hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics, for kids ages 5 and up and their family members.
Kenosha public school champions came together in a school board electors’ meeting and restored annual stipends for school board members, after two months of organizing pro-public community members in response to their annual meeting in September.
PARTNER & ACTION RESOURCES