Monday, March 20, 2017

April 3rd in Platteville

There is a special event relating to education which will take place in Platteville on April 3rd, which is the day before Election Day.  If you have any concern for our rural public schools and how they affect the future of our state, we hope you will attend.  And then vote for Tony Evers on April 4th.

The Wisconsin budget process is underway and the Joint Finance Committee will hold six regional hearings around the state to hear public comment. Our children need you to be their voice in this conversation. Restoring public education funding to ensure thriving communities for all should be the cornerstone of this budget.
We invite you to RSVP today to be part of this effort - whether you intend to testify in person, support others who are testifying at the hearings, or submit written and video testimony outside of the hearings. YOUR story matters, and it needs to be heard by decision-makers.
Wisconsin Public Education Network
(608) 572-1696 •
Monday, April 3 – UW-Platteville, Platteville
Wednesday, April 5 – State Fair Park, West Allis (Milwaukee)
Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School, Berlin
Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School, Spooner
Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth
Friday, April 21 – Marinette High School, Marinette

For more information:
Keep your eye on what is being proposed for our public school system. Have no illusions.. The school voucher system will gut public schools. A voucher does not provide enough money for full tuition. Those who want to put their child in private school, using vouchers, will need to supplement the tuition cost out of pocket. This means those in poverty or working poor will not be able to access private schools. That leaves those who cannot afford private school in the public school system. Public schools will lose a majority of their funding to the vouchers leaving underfunded public schools with a high proportion of children in poverty. This is not equitable education for all. Don't we want ALL our children in America to have a good education?
To those of you not in the education field, you may not understand a lot of the educational jargon and the foundation of the American education system. Having a school voucher system (proposed by Trump's Education secretary, Betsy DeVos) doesn't just mean you can choose any school you want your kid to go to. It also means the public education program will be dismantled. Let me explain...
This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17 and starts the defunding process of public schools.
The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, which is the nation's educational law that provides equal opportunity in education. The ESEA established what are known as title programs, and because these are so important to maintaining free and equitable public education, Congress has reauthorized ESEA every five years since 1965. Under President George W. Bush, ESEA became known as No Child Left Behind; under President Barack Obama, it was rebranded the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and passed Congress with rare bipartisan support.
ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, advanced and gifted kids in AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance, and Federal Accountability Programs. Yes, there are all of these programs happening in our education system, in addition to just academics.
House Bill 610 also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.
The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA, and FAPE.
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities:
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning.
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).
Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.

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