Wisconsin Public Education Action News – Summer 2016

Dear friends of Wisconsin public schools,
Happy Labor Day!  We’re back to school and ready for another wonderful year!  Nothing makes the start of fall sweeter than seeing everyone’s back-to-school photos, and I am loving all the videos & news coverage people are sharing of their district’s welcome-back festivities. Check out these from Menomonee Falls, Sun Prairie, Milwaukee, and Marshfield, and keep them coming! The joy and excitement in our children’s faces as they return to the classroom, the trust and affection between teachers and parents, and the eagerness of administrators to start a new year right is proof of just how true it is that the public schools are the hearts of our communities.

Here at Wisconsin Public Education Network our priority is keeping that message at the center of the conversation as we go back to school in a big election – and a biennial budget – year. Our goal is to continue to grow our Network to keep people who know and care most about what’s happening in and to our schools connected, informed, and engaged in local-level actions that will have state-level impact that benefits all students in all public schools.

This back-to-school edition of our newsletter highlights upcoming events like the 2-day advocacy workshop planned for Sept. 23-24, recaps our Summer Summit for those who missed it, sums up the most important public education news stories of the summer, and invites you to be a part of keeping our efforts going. We invite you to share any or all of this information with you own lists and communities as you see appropriate, and to feel free to borrow/copy/paste at liberty.

Summer 2016

Upcoming Wisconsin Public Education Network Events:

  • This training provides an opportunity to hone and develop the skills, strategy, and connections needed to turn our concerns and ideas into action that works for kids and schools. To learn more, contact Heather at hdb@WisconsinNetwork.org or (608) 572-1696. Registration deadline: Sept. 15. Space is limited. Apply to participate here.

     Hosted by Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education. Appleton Public Library,

    225 N Oneida St, Appleton, WI 54911 from 1-4 p.m.

    NOTE: Our regular meetings are open to all who wish to be part of the conversation about how to move forward together to support our students and schools. CLICK HERE TO RSVP!
    Tentative Agenda (subject to changes and additions):

    • Partner, Coordinator’s and Legislative Updates
    • Report from Summer Summit
    • Budget Action Brainstorm & Strategy Session: How to get in front of the biennial budget to promote fair funding for public education
    • Local Action Workshop: Making Public Education a Focus in the Fall Elections
Public Education & Partner Events of Note:




  • Sept. 26: The Future of Public Education, Oshkosh, 7-9pm.  A panel discussion with Dr. Michael Ford, expert on vouchers and school finance; Dr. Tony Evers, State Superintendent, Department of Public Instruction; Dr. Raymond Cross, President, University of Wisconsin System; Dr. Andrew Leavitt, Chancellor, UW Oshkosh; and Mr. Stan Mack, Superintendent, Oshkosh Area School District.


  • Sept. 28: CAPE (Citizen Advocates for Public Education) Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Party, 4-7 p.m., N8016 County Hwy. G. Free for CAPE members. Email citizens4publiced@gmail.com for more information.



  • Oct 3: “Support Our Schools Fall Forum” hosted by SOS Wauwatosa. 7 pm, Wauwatosa West High School (11400 West Center Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53222). Confirmed speakers include: Dr. Julie Mead, UW-Madison Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis; Tom McCarthy, Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Communications Director; John Forester, Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance Director of Government Relations; Dr. Phil Ertl, Wauwatosa School District SuperintendentSupport Our Schools Fall Forum. To RSVP, visit http://soswauwatosa.nationbui lder.com/2016_fall_forum


  • October 6: NATIONAL PUBLIC EDUCATION DAY OF ACTION: Walk-Ins to Support Our Schools. Coordinated by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. If your district or community plans to participate, please let us know so we can help amplify the impact of your events.


  • Nov. 3: How will K-12 education fare in the next biennial budget?
    Presenters: Jeff Pertl (Senior Policy Advisor, DPI), Chris Thiel (Legislative Policy Specialist, Milw. Public Schools). Hosted by GRUMPS (GRandparents United for Madison Public Schools). Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham St, Madison, 11:30 – 1:00
  • Nov. 8: ELECTION DAY. Polls open 7am-8pm statewide. Over 65 referenda measures will be on the fall ballots around the state. Click here for the DPI list of districts facing school referenda, and encourage voters in your community to vote for public schools down the whole ballot.
    We want to help make public education a focus of the fall elections! Individuals or groups interested in distributing “PLEDGE TO VOTE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS!” cards in their communities can contact Heather – we have received a special grant to help with printing and design!


Summer Summit Recap

Huge thanks to all who attended and presented at our 2nd Annual Summer Summit in Wauwautosa on August 23! If you haven’t already taken the survey to let us know what you thought of the event, please do – your comments will shape the planning for next year!

Over 350 people from all over the state, representing districts, grassroots advocacy teams, professional organizations, faith communities, local municipalities, and more. Here’s some of the footage and news coverage for those who missed it:

Summer Public Education Action/News Roundup:

School Funding and Equity

Educator news: teacher pay & teacher shortages

Charters, Vouchers & Equity

Other news of note

Want to see particular news item or share an upcoming event in our calendar? Send me an email – and make sure I’m on YOUR mailing list, too, so we can stay connected!


How You Can Help: Join Us!

Our efforts to support Wisconsin public schools are made possible entirely by the voluntary contributions of our partners around the state, and we invite all on the receiving end of this message to think of themselves as our Network partners. Being a partner in this Network requires no dues or official membership; it simply means that you stand with others around Wisconsin to support and defend the common values we all share: that public schools are essential to a thriving democracy, and that every child in every public school deserves equal access and equal opportunity to succeed.

Please consider making a one-time or monthly contribution to the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, the 501(c)(4) organization that supports the work of the Wisconsin Public Education Network.  You can donate securely here.

Thank you for your continued support of our children, communities and public schools!

About the author: Wisconsin Public Education Network

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.