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Assembly Republicans Float New School Choice Option PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 07 October 2016 13:06

teaching-studentsPlan could poise a new school choice vehicle, which typically takes money that would otherwise go to public schools.


MADISON - According to the Wisconsin State Journal Thursday, Wisconsin parents could pay for K-12 school expenses — including tuition at private schools — with a taxpayer-funded savings account under a program Assembly Republicans are considering.

What’s known as Education Savings Accounts would be set up for parents to pay for tuition, textbooks and tutoring, according to a proposal in the Assembly Republican caucus agenda for 2017, released last month.

The accounts — dubbed the next generation of school vouchers by education policy experts — would add an option for Wisconsin parents, who already have a variety of alternatives to their designated public school, including open enrollment to other public schools, voucher-assisted private schools and independent charter schools.

Critics say the accounts represent the latest attempt to erode public schools.

The use of the education accounts in five states — Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee — offer clues about how they might work here if lawmakers pursue the idea.

In general, parents of eligible children receive several thousand dollars from the state to pay educational expenses. Parents can use the money to pay for tuition at private schools, books, tutoring or other costs, including in some cases extracurricular activities. In some states, any leftover funds can be saved for college.

Hunter Railey, a policy researcher for the Education Commission of the States, said in the states where ESA programs exist, parents can’t use the money to send children to a different public school district.

Public school advocates characterized the accounts as similar to a school voucher, which typically takes money that would otherwise go to public schools as students leave the schools to attend private schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 13:25
 
College Students Struggling with Mountain of Debt PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Saturday, 10 September 2016 13:21

student-loansCollege students across Wisconsin are returning to classes this week, but soon they will be leaving our universities with an ever-increasing burden of student loan debt.


RHINELANDER, WI – With the conclusion of the Labor Day weekend, college students across Wisconsin are returning to classes and looking forward to starting a new year of learning and opportunity. However, those students are also leaving our universities with an ever-increasing burden of student loan debt.

bryan-van-stippen“As one of the 800,000 Wisconsin residents paying off student loans, I know first-hand the struggles students are going through trying to climb out of crushing student debt,” said State Senate Candidate Bryan Van Stippen. “The average debt load of a Wisconsin student is $28,800. That’s enough for a new car or a down payment on a house. Families across the state are struggling to get ahead because they are strapped with student loan debt payments and are unable to refinance.”

While on the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Tom Tiffany voted for the $250 million cut to the UW system, eliminated staff protections, and presided over an unprecedented exodus of faculty and staff from the 26 colleges and universities of the UW system.

“Senator Tiffany continues to side with big Wall Street banks over the needs of our middle class Wisconsin families by blocking families from being able to refinance student loan debt. By reinvesting in the UW system, retaining top-notch faculty, and allowing families to refinance student loan debt, we can turn around our economy and keep our graduates in Wisconsin.”

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Bryan Van Stippen is running to represent the 12th Senate District in northern Wisconsin. Residents can learn more about Bryan at: www.vanstippenforsenate.com.

 
K-12 Education Cuts Signals Need for Reinvestment in Our Children’s Future PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Sam Erickson   
Friday, 15 July 2016 10:06

kidsRHINELANDER, WI – This week marks the one-year anniversary of Scott Walker’s budget cuts to Wisconsin’s K-12 system. For the third consecutive budgetary session, Gov. Walker and Senate Republicans prioritized funding for unaccountable Milwaukee voucher schools over Wisconsin’s starving public schools. As the July 12th anniversary comes and passes, school districts around the Northwoods are still feeling the negative impacts of the cuts.

bryan-van-stippen“There is no question that the misplaced priorities of legislative Republicans have left rural schools behind,” said Senate Candidate Bryan Van Stippen. “Years of historic Republican budget cuts have created serious challenges for Wisconsin’s rural schools and forced many of our local communities to rely on raising property taxes just to keep the lights on. While Wisconsin’s millionaires have had their deep pockets padded through irresponsible tax breaks, school districts across the state have been left wondering if any help is around the corner.”

“My opponent, Senator Tom Tiffany, voted for the most recent biennium budget that resulted in these cuts. Using his position on the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Tiffany was instrumental in tearing away the very public school funding that his constituents rely upon,” Van Stippen continued. “Wisconsinites in the Northwoods place a high value on the quality of their public education, while clearly Senator Tiffany does not.”

“If elected, I intend to do everything in my power to reverse this dangerous trend by restoring state support for our public schools. I understand the importance of our K-12 education system and I will prioritize the futures of our children over tax breaks for billionaires. Our students deserve better,” Van Stippen concluded.

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Bryan Van Stippen is running to represent the 12th Senate District in northern Wisconsin. Residents can learn more about Bryan at: www.vanstippenforsenate.com.

 
Task Force on Urban Education Falls Short for Kids PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 17 June 2016 19:40

teacherTask Force, a follow-up to last year's panel on rural education, issued a dozen recommendations on state funding for four-year-old kindergarten and early childhood education. Green Bay representative says we must do more to give all school children in Wisconsin an equal opportunity at educational success.


MADISON - On Thursday, the state Assembly’s Task Force on Urban Education, chaired by Rep. Jesse Rodriguez (R - Oak Creek) issued a dozen recommendations, including reviewing state funding for four-year-old kindergarten and other options for early childhood education.

jesse-rodriguezThe task force is a follow-up to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ panel on rural education in a previous session of the legislature. Rodriguez and her colleagues focused on the six largest school districts in the state of Wisconsin, about 20 percent of the state’s total student population.

“With limited time and resources, we needed to just look at a few things that we knew we could possibly make a difference,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also felt student mental health was a major area of concern.

“We were able to look at three different areas that we wanted to focus on,” the Milwaukee County Republican said in an interview Thursday. “That was early childhood education, mental health and best practices for truancy and low graduation rates, as well as teacher training, recruitment and retention.”

eric-genrichOn the other hand, Rep. Eric Genrich (D - Green Bay), a member of the task force, felt it's work for this year left some areas for improvement.

“As a member of the Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education, I valued the opportunity to visit some of the largest urban school districts in the state and discuss the challenges faced by students and educators in these settings," said Genrich. "I appreciate the time and thought that has been devoted to this effort by Chair Rodriguez and my fellow members, but I urge us all to think seriously about what we owe to all school children in Wisconsin: an equal opportunity at educational success. Unfortunately, the recommendations of the Task Force unveiled today fall short of this obligation.”

“As we move closer to the 2017-18 legislative session, I will continue the conversations with parents, educators, school board members, and fellow policymakers in an effort to articulate a vision and agenda for public education that is worthy of the children of this state, including a fair and adequate school funding formula, a commitment to combating child poverty and socioeconomic segregation, and a real investment in universally available early education opportunities,” Genrich concluded.

 
Teachers’ Association Continues to Push For Reduced Class Sizes in Milwaukee PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Written by WEAC Media   
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 10:44

kids-milwMILWAUKEE – Educators, parents, community, and faith leaders will call on the Milwaukee Public School Board today to reject the MPS administration's proposal that would increase class size for grades 1, 2, and 3 in over 60 Milwaukee Public Schools.

In 2015 Scott Walker signed into law Wisconsin Act 53 which phases out the class-size reduction program known as the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program that provides eligible schools per-pupil funding for each low-income grades K5 through 3 student. The new law replaces SAGE with the Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program.

“There are no significant changes to the state funding under the new program. MPS is predicting a loss of federal funding which is currently used to support SAGE. MPS administration could maintain smaller class sizes in the current SAGE schools through reallocation of dollars, but instead they’ve proposed a plan to create 62 new administrator positions, spend tens of thousands of dollars on classroom furniture, and eliminate well over 150 front-line classroom teacher positions,” said MTEA President Kim Schroeder. “Research shows that increasing class sizes for our earliest learners will have a detrimental, long-term impact on Milwaukee Public School students, their families, and our community.”

“Benefits from class-size reduction programs are greatest for low-income and minority children,” said Kim Schroeder. “It is impossible to understand how the Administration got away with moving this proposal forward without approval from the elected school board or any input from educators, parents, and community members.”

MPS parents and community leaders from groups including Schools and Communities United and the Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) join the MTEA in favor of maintaining smaller class size.

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For over 50 years, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association has been a champion for public education in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association represents over 4,500 educators and support personnel who make Milwaukee's public education system possible. MTEA, an affiliate of the National Education Association and is the largest educator local in Wisconsin. Learn more at mtea.weac.org.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 10:58
 
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