April 15, 2022: Spring Election Reflections

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.


    The spring elections concluded on Tuesday, April 5.

    All over the state, we saw local teams and individuals work relentlessly to support public schools, get out the vote, pass local referenda, and fight back against partisanship, negativity, and disinformation.

    Statewide, 80% of school referenda passed—and in districts where grassroots teams of public education champions took advantage of Wisconsin Public Education Network resources, trainings, and mini-grant opportunities, 100% of their referendum efforts were successful.

    On Friday, April 15, Governor Tony Evers vetoed three contentious education-related bills on his desk; this followed several vetoes and other actions on April 8. Assembly Bills 963, 966 and 970 were vetoed on April 15 in their entirety. Respectively, these bills would have enacted a so-called “parents’ bill of rights,” forcibly dissolved Milwaukee Public Schools, and removed income caps on publicly-funded private school voucher eligibility.

    Last week’s vetoed bills regarded reading curriculum, charter school authorizing boards, “microschool” categorization for homeschooling, and others; he approved a bill regarding state payments to an independent charter school authorized by a tribal college and an easing of substitute teaching permits. See how your lawmakers voted on these and other bills by visiting our Education Vote Tracker.


    Newly elected or re-elected school board members across Wisconsin are invited to join us on Tuesday, April 26 for a free, virtual workshop on how to collaborate and advocate effectively for students and public schools. The workshop will include welcoming remarks from special guest, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jill Underly. It is open to current school board members only. Click here to register.


Northwest Wisconsin

Spotlight on UW-Eau Claire student and Aspiring Educators President-elect Madison Stauffer, who joined us for a Get Out The Vote message ahead of the spring elections. See the video here.

Read my column in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, reflecting on a mixed bag of election results and stressing the need to heal our communities and put students first in our discourse, here.

Spotlight also on the many Network partners in New Lisbon, Superior, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, La Crosse, Holmen and more, who worked on nonpartisan GOTV efforts locally.

Southwest Wisconsin

Spotlight on the River Valley School District and the local RV Forward team for working hard to encourage folks to vote and educate their community about revenue limits, operational referenda and the state’s school funding formula. River Valley saw its referendum pass on April 5.

Longtime Network partners in Lake Mills, Madison, Pecatonica and more worked hard to GOTV this spring as well, and kept the focus on local kids.

Northeast Wisconsin

Spotlight on the Tomahawk School District, and lead local-level organizer Jennifer Black, who worked hard to get out the vote in Tomahawk and passed their school referendum on April 5! See Jen’s GOTV video here.

Appreciation and spotlight also on local-level organizers in Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah, Kiel, and many other communities in NE Wisconsin who worked to get out the vote, educate their communities, remain nonpartisan and keep the focus on local kids.

Southeast Wisconsin

Spotlight on East Troy, and local parent, small business owner, and organizer Molly Moody, who worked tirelessly to get out the vote in their southeastern Wisconsin school district covering a mostly rural area southwest of Milwaukee! See Molly’s Get Out The Vote message here.

Public education champions and Network partners have worked very hard in Waukesha, Beloit, Milwaukee, Mequon-Thiensville, Kenosha, Racine, and many other communities in SE Wisconsin this spring.


About the author: Christian Phelps

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