Wisconsin must demonstrate that we value our teachers, Governor Evers writes

In a column released Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers says Wisconsin must do better in demonstrating that it values its teachers. “We must … recognize that part of supporting our kids in the classroom means supporting the educators who teach our kids,” Evers writes. “Wisconsin pays our public school teachers less than the national average, which makes it harder to recruit and retain talented educators. According to recently-released data, Wisconsin has fallen to 33rd in the nation for average teacher pay. Teacher salaries in our state are some of the lowest in the Midwest. Teachers moving across the border to Illinois or Michigan can see pay bumps of $10,000 or more. That’s just not good enough, folks. As we continue to fight for the resources our schools need to invest in our kids, we must do everything in our power to ensure that educators know the work they do is valued and that they mean something to our kids and the people of our state.”

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Evers asks Godlewski to head new Retirement Security Task Force

Governor Tony Evers has formed the Retirement Security Task Force, and announced that State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski would lead the effort. In a news release, Godlewski said, like citizens nationwide, Wisconsinites are not saving enough for retirement and that an estimated 400,000 Wisconsinites are at risk of retiring in poverty by 2030. The task force, she said, will “identify effective and achievable solutions that will provide an opportunity for all Wisconsinites to save that is separate from the WRS (Wisconsin Retirement System).”

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Racine educators, students, parents, community members demand a budget that supports students and educators

Dozens of Racine educators, students, parents and community members packed a school board meeting Monday night to demand a budget that supports all students and gives educators the tools they need to help students succeed. “I realize public school districts across this state are in crisis mode,” said Racine Educators United President Angelina Cruz. “But I strongly believe in the collective power of educators and community to fight back for what’s best for kids.”

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Legislative Update: Republicans strip Evers’ budget of key items

The Joint Finance Committee Thursday killed a plan for $1.4 billion in federal funding that would have helped fund schools, roads and healthcare. The party-line vote to deny full Medicaid expansion was followed by a vote on a huge package of recommended budget provisions that would have increased special education funding and teacher quality measures, plus require transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded private schools. “Wisconsin educators and parents have turned out in droves to be clear about our No. 1 priority – our students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Our dedication is strong – we will continue to advocate in the best interest of our students for equitable funding for public schools.”

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Legislative Update: May 3

GOP lawmakers are formally taking steps to stop Medicaid expansion and strip out key education provisions from Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal, including school funding fixes that would result in more tax dollars actually entering our schoolhouse doors instead of being used for property tax reductions. The Joint Finance co-chairs have released a memo outlining 131 proposals they plan to pull from the budget when the committee meets May 9, including measures to phase out voucher schools and fix public school funding flaws.

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