Education Action Alert: School leaders call for action before Assembly vote this week

[A courtesy announcement from our friends at Wisconsin Pubic Education Network]

Dear friends of Wisconsin public schools,

After reading the latest action alerts today from our friends at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and the School Administrators Alliance, I thought it best to put out one more call to action before everyone heads to the polls on Tuesday while the Assembly takes to the floor for debate and final votes of the session.  Many of these items relate to public schools, and will be voted on before the Assembly adjourns for the session this week.

WASB has posted this really helpful list of all the education-related bills that are on the Assembly agenda for tomorrow, including AB 751, which was passed with a non-germane amendment which "would reduce the revenue limit authority of the 142 public school districts that currently have resident pupils participating in the statewide and Racine voucher programs by $14.2 million annually. This revenue limit authority protects the affected school districts against the loss of state aid that follows resident pupils to the voucher school."

SAA has put out a priority action alert, writing:

it is extremely important to our efforts at stopping this bill that Assembly Representatives feel very uncomfortable over this vote.  Therefore, I’m asking you to contact your Assembly Representatives one more time on this issue.

Once again, here is the bottom line on AB 751 as amended: if your district has resident students in the statewide or Racine voucher programs, under this amendment, you will lose revenue limit authority and you will likely have to pay for your voucher students by reducing educational opportunities for the children that remain in your district.

WEAC has also outlined the impacts of this bill, and launched a Cyberlobby effort to make it easy for educators and other public school advocates to take action on this important issue.

School leaders, board members, and educators all over the state are sending letters and making phone calls to their Assembly reps to send a simple message:

  • Any change to the funding formula for Wisconsin schools deserves a fair hearing and full analysis by experts and school officials.
  • Funding private school tuition vouchers by taking money out of public school classrooms betrays the promise legislators made last summer that the voucher expansion would not hurt public school children.
  • Legislators should follow their own rules and reject any non-germane amendments that change the intent of a bill. If legislators propose NEW amendments  on the floor, these should not be passed without opportunity to be fully vetted by those who know and care most about our schools, and those who know best what their fiscal impact will be on districts and taxpayers.

Let's make sure the voices of parents, business leaders, and other community members are also heard at the Capitol!  When we all stand together to support our schools, we can make a difference!


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