Education


FREE TUITION MEANS FREEDOM TO LEARN

"Every Wisconsinite should have access to education or training past high school… To be pursued at whatever point and pace makes sense for individual workers and industries,” wrote researchers at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) eight years ago. Long before the current shortage of skilled workers, COWS anticipated the need for additional training. In 2009, the Center teamed up with the Workforce Development Board, Skills2Compete and others to study “Wisconsin’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs.” Middle skill jobs are those jobs that require more than a ...

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A COMMUNITY CARES FOR ITS CHILDREN

It is deep in our human nature to care for other people. Many years ago that was the only way for people to survive. We humans still come equipped with caring for others or showing empathy. A good example of one community showing empathy for all its children and teachers is Marathon, Wisconsin. Caring citizens in Marathon, Wisconsin established the Marathon School District Endowment Fund. In the years since its beginning, this fund has supported projects throughout the Marathon School District. The Endowment Fund has given tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to ...

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THE SUMMIT IS AROUND THE CORNER

With budget negotiations still stalled, a pile of troubling legislation on deck at the Capitol, and our schools facing more budget uncertainty than ever, the time to unite to stand up for our students and their public schools is now. Wisconsin Public Education Network's 3rd Annual Summer Summit is your invitation to come together. Register today and be a part of the public education event of the year. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9 AT LAKE MILLS HIGH SCHOOL 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The agenda has something for everyone: from veteran teachers, board members, administrators and ...

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LIBRARIANS DESERVE RETIREMENT SECURITY

I was a librarian for a total of 30 years in Wisconsin and spent the last 23 years working in La Crosse schools. Becoming a librarian was definitely a calling. I enjoyed teaching others to read and appreciate literature, the challenge of research and teaching children to do it, and mastering and teaching the new technologies as they came along. Not everything is easy in this profession. Each day presented a new set of challenges, but when working with children, there is never a dull moment. Librarians often take home low pay, but have the promise of a guaranteed secure ...

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PROTECT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I believe public schools are the heart of our communities. Taxpayer-funded vouchers are quietly bleeding our public schools of much-needed funding. This school year, vouchers silently skimmed $245 million in taxpayer state aid away from our public schools. School districts are being forced to pay for taxpayer vouchers in their districts. This year Marshfield paid $58,584, Merrill paid $175,752, Stevens Point paid $339,225 and Wausau paid $428,610 for private school tuition. The costs will be higher next year. Eight-five percent of this year’s taxpayer vouchers went ...

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WILL WISCONSIN CHILDREN RECEIVE AN EQUAL EDUCATION?

Progress with the state budget is at a standoff in the Capitol. Behind closed doors, leaders are talking details and trying to find votes. Openly, legislative leaders point to a lack of agreement on public education. They say no progress can happen until they round up necessary votes for the education portion of the budget. Privately, some GOP lawmakers are also angling to spend money on a big change to business personal property taxes. However, changes to taxes could take away money promised to schools. Education is the largest part of the general fund budget (the ...

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Youth in Government


THE STATE OF WISCONSIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

In his address to the county chairs, Tony Evers (current State Superintendent of Public Schools) had many incisive and wise observations about the state of our state's public schools. He was particularly clear on why sending our tax dollars to private voucher schools is wrong. He pointed out that in the more than 20 years that the private school voucher program has been in effect, all studies show that they perform no better than public schools. And yet that was the reason given for starting them in the first place, to provide a school that would have better results. ...

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IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN MONEY

Public education in Wisconsin should provide high quality learning for ALL children no matter who they are or where they live,” Eau Claire School Board President Chris Hambuch-Boyle recently told me. Chris and education leaders across the state read with interest details of the Governor’s plan for our next state budget. Governor Walker gave money to a number of new initiatives and reaped the praise of some education leaders. The plan picks and chooses among various proposals advanced over the last few years. Some new programs are funded and some existing programs ...

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A SWORD CUTS BOTH WAYS

For decades, the religious right has gained access to tax dollars by filling a niche in the education system. In addressing an ‘at risk’ population among children, these religious activists have made great strides toward the use of tax dollars for religious instruction. It’s a clever end-run around the law. In Arkansas until 2012, a quietly growing swarm of such preschools illegally utilized millions of tax dollars for programs that began each day with prayer and Bible study. (Which they have never been required to pay back.) Classroom activities included coloring ...

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