Weekly Update May 17, 2015

Stand Up For Public Education

Joint Committee On Finance To Take Up Review of K-12 Budget

Tomorrow is a critical day to make sure your voice is heard so that parents and elected school boards remain in charge of public schools, rather than people appointed for political reasons by non-educators. Please call your elected officials by 5 PM on Monday (tomorrow), because many people on both sides of the aisle want democracy preserved in Wisconsin. 

Joint Finance Committee Meets Tuesday, May 19, to Review K-12 Portion of State Budget

Once again, it appears Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members are planning to “surprise” Wisconsin when they review and act on the K-12 portion of the state budget. Two years ago JFC Republicans unexpectedly expanded the proposed statewide voucher program from nine school districts to every school district in Wisconsin. When they meet this coming Tuesday, it is highly likely JFC Republicans will insert a highly controversial public school takeover bill in the budget and lift caps on the statewide voucher program.

What Can You Do?  Call and/or email these State Senators and State Representatives.

Sen. Alberta Darling (R) Co-Chair 608-266-5830 

Sen. Luther Olsen (R) 608-266-0751 

Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) 608-266-7745 

Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) 608-266-2512

Sen. Tom Tiffany (R) 608-266-2509 

Sen. Howard Marklein (R) 608-266-0703 

Sen. Jon Erbenbach (D) 608-266-6670 

Sen. Lena Taylor (D) 608-266-5810 

Rep. John Nygren (R) Co-Chair 608-266-2343 

Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R) 608-266-9180 

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) 608-266-9967 

Rep. Dean Knudson (R) 608-266-1526 

Rep. Michael Schraa (R) 608-267-7990 

Rep. Mary Czaja (R) 608-266-7694 

Rep. Chris Taylor (D) 608-266-5342 

Rep. Gordon Hintz (D) 608-266-2254 

Contact JFC members by 5 pm, Monday, May 18 – if you have limited time, it is suggested you focus your efforts on Darling, Nygren, Olsen and Harsdorf. JFC executive sessions are open to the public – you are welcome to come to the Capitol on Tuesday when the JFC reviews the K-12 portion of the budget, make your presence felt, and see our state legislators at work.


Milwaukee Public Schools Takeover Bill


Milwaukee Public School (MPS) board members have commented this plan would bankrupt MPS, and noted that of the 55 MPS schools initially targeted, 40 are “underperforming” due to attendance issues, common in areas of poverty. Takeover plans are attacks on local control, and have been implemented in other states with disastrous financial and educational results – Detroit is an example.

As with vouchers, there is little doubt this plan would be expanded to other areas of the state. Of immediate concern to Wisconsin taxpayers is the likelihood of higher local property taxes with each new privately-run charter school created in Milwaukee, as this type of school siphons tax dollars away from every public school district in the state.

Check out this op-ed by Bob Peterson for more information.

Special notice to our members. Unlike past years, we plan on hosting events through out the summer this year.  Stay tuned for announcements in future emails for our first annual picnic, fundraiser, tabling events, and a special presentation on climate change and clean water.

This question stumps Republicans
It's a simple question, but one that stops Republican presidential hopefuls in their tracks: Who do you think is the greatest president alive today?

CNN posed the question to several White House contenders gathered here recently at the Freedom Summit, a daylong conference with conservative activists ahead of next year's primary in this crucial early-primary state. 

"Obviously the greatest president of my lifetime is Ronald Reagan," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

"I'll leave that to the people to decide," said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which is his guaranteed go-to line for questions he doesn't want to answer. "Certainly the greatest president of recent generations was Ronald Reagan."

"I was a big fan, a very big fan of Ronald Reagan," real estate mogul Donald Trump said. 

Ronald Reagan, as you might recall, has been dead for 11 years.

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