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.
Upcoming Wisconsin Public Education Network Events:
Sept. 23-24: WORKSHOP – Organizing to Advocate for Public Schools: Wisconsin Public Education Network WiLD project training, Green Lake Conference Center.
Learn more here: WisconsinNetwork.org/training.
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.
Sept. 30: WISCONSIN PUBLIC EDUCATION NETWORK MEETING,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
Sept. 12: National Higher Ground Moral Day of Action. 10am -12:30 pm at statehouses nationwide. This event, organized by members of faith communities around the country, calls on legislators to do the right thing for children, communities and families. The Madison event is being organized by a coalition of faith partners.
Sept. 13: Public Schools & Privatization: What’s at Stake? with Dr. Julie Mead, Appleton Public Library, 7pm.
Sept. 14-16: WASDA Fall Superintendents Conference. Madison.
- Sept 17: Fighting Bob Fest, Breese Terrace Field, Madison.This annual, issues-focused progressive event will feature an address by news-making Chicago principal Troy LaRaviere and an education panel with LaRaviere and several of our Network partners.
Sept. 21: Candidate Forum on Education and School Funding with Todd Novak and Jeff Wright (51st Assembly District). Pecatonica High School (Blanchardville), 7pm. Organized by Pecatonica PTA.
ACTION NOTE: This is just the sort of forum we encourage grassroots teams around the state to organize! If you’d like some tips on how to organizing non-partisan events to put public education at the focus of local races, please get in touch: hdb@WisconsinNetwork.org!
- Sept. 24: Teaching about the 2016 Elections Conference, UW-Madison
- 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.
- Sept. 29: Julie Mead: Supporting Public Education: Why is this so important, yet so difficult? League of Women Voters of the Northwoods Fall Meeting Dinner, Green Bay Holiday Inn Green Bay Stadium, 5:30pm
- 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.
ACTION NOTE: 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!
Nov. 9-10: Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance conference. Stevens Point.
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:
- Wisconsin Eye footage (includes opening with Wauwatosa leaders and Dr. Tony Evers, keynote by John and Tashia Morgridge, and panel with former Senators Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz)
- Interview with Dr. Tony Evers (mentions our event and the great work of our Network partners in opening)
- Wauwatosa HostsStatewide Education Summit
- Public School Leader Worries about “Haves” and “Have-Nots”
- Hundreds gather to push for more K-12 public school funding: Public Education Summit held in Wauwatosa
- Whatever Happened to Wisconsin Nice? PBS documentary featuring former Senators Dale Schultz and Tim Cullen, who spoke at the Summit on a panel with the film’s producer, Madeline Power
- ACTION HIGHLIGHT/Model Resolution:
South Milwaukee School Board Resolution Calling on Legislators, Governor to Address Revenue Limit Inequity in Next Biennium
- Sen. Vukmir/LFB Memo: Property Taxes Up; State Aid, Per-Pupil Spending Down Since 2010. WRN report here.
- State report cards take poverty into account
- Interactive Map: Homelessness in Wisconsin public schools
- Report: Spending on WI prisons rises more than schools
- 2017-18 state funding figures includes dollars for voucher, charter schools. Portage administrator: budget “does nothing for our kids.”
- Rural districts adapt to increased competition for teachers (LaCrosse)
- Fox 11 Investigates: School Districts Dealing with Teacher Shortage (NE Wisconsin)
- Teacher Shortage Affects Districts in Western Wisconsin
- School districts struggle to find teachers (Green Bay)
- Wisconsin Budget Project: Teacher Pay Penalty Bigger than Ever
- UW report: Male teachers earn more than female colleagues since Act 10
Charters, Vouchers & Equity
- Study: Wisconsin Report on Charter School Efficiency in Milwaukee Not Supported by Evidence
- PR Watch: ALEC Admits School Vouchers Are for Kids in Suburbia
- Milwaukee Voucher School Staff Sues School Over Pay
- Opposition Stalls Hearing on Military-Style Voucher School (Milwaukee)
- National report (NBC): In states with “takeover” legislation, poor parents have little voice in democracy: Without Local School Boards, Parents in Poor Communities Lose Vote
- Washington Post: NAACP calls for ban on privately managed charter schools
Other news of note
- Superintendent’s Friends of Education announced
- Op-ed, Milwaukee school board member Terry Falk: Why did Wisconsin ACT scores plummet?
- Community Schools partnership works to embrace Milwaukee’s children
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!
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!