New tax break for big-box stores could drain more money from public schools

An article published in Education Week examines how big-box stores are using “dark store theory” to reduce their property tax payments, and how that is threatening to drain more resources from our public schools. The trend – in which companies claim their stores should be assessed as if they were vacant – has become pronounced in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. The article cites the example of the impact of a Menards lawsuit on the Howard-Suamico School District north of Green Bay.

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ALEC conference continues group’s focus on undermining public schools, Rep. Chris Taylor says

State Representative Chris Taylor, a Democrat from Madison, just got back from another American Legislative Exchange Council conference, and concluded: “The issue of the moment for ALEC is public education — that is, undermining it.” … “For ALEC, it is all about tearing down our public-school infrastructure so corporate privatization efforts can move in and make a buck,” she writes in a column published by The Progressive.

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Now’s a great time to join the free NEA edCommunities!

Have you been looking for a great online community where you can collaborate with colleagues both in Wisconsin and throughout the nation? NEA edCommunities is the place for you! At NEA edCommunities, you can: Collaborate with school and community stakeholders; Join groups on specific education topics and  issues – or start your own; Share and access free, high-quality curricula and mashable resources to use as you wish to create customized learning tools; Expand your professional opportunities with virtual learning events; Improve student learning; and much more.

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‘ParaEducators deserve quality, ongoing professional development’

The federal education law known as ESSA spells out several opportunities for ParaEducators to receive quality professional development, writes Lynn Goss, a ParaEducator in the St. Croix Central School District and a member of the National Education Association Board of Directors. It’s important that all ParaEducators make sure their school districts make these professional development opportunities available and then take full advantage of them. “Join me as I continue to advocate for targeted and ongoing professional development that all ParaEducators need and deserve,” she writes.

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Do cellphones belong in the classroom?

The announcement this week that Portage High School would be banning cellphones from the classroom this fall has generated a lot of reaction on both sides of the issue. While many believe cellphones distract from learning in the classroom, others believe they can be used to supplement learning. At the same time, some parents like the idea of always being able to reach their children via cellphone.

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