With a new record for approving referendums, Wisconsin residents sent a strong message in 2018 that they support their public schools

Wisconsin residents made it very clear in 2018 that they stand behind their public schools and will do whatever it takes to support them. After years of state funding reductions by the Republican Legislature and the about-to-be-former Republican governor, voters went to the polls in droves to make up for the lack of state funding by approving a record number of local school referendums (in addition to electing educator Tony Evers governor). According to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, voters this year signed off on a record $2 billion-plus in debt and revenue increases for local schools. The approval rate was 90 percent, the highest on record. Read more on the WEAC News From Around the Web Topic Board. You can sign up for WEAC news alerts at weac.org/subscribe.

Public education champion Tony Evers is Wisconsin’s new governor!

State Superintendent Tony Evers, a staunchly pro-public education Democrat, is Wisconsin’s new governor, defeating incumbent Republican Scott Walker, long known for his attacks on public schools and educators.

WEAC President Ron Martin applauded WEAC members for their hard work in helping to elect Evers.

“Today is filled with possibilities and opportunities, leading us to a better future,” Martin said in a video message to members. “This victory belongs to you. But more importantly, it belongs to our kids.”

As State Superintendent, Evers has proposed increasing public school funding by $1.4 billion, has said he will freeze the school voucher program as a first step toward its eventual phase-out, strongly supports community schools that help meet the needs of students and families in the local community, and plans to place in statute requirements for teacher voice to be part of all education-related decision and policy-making initiatives.

“We have lots of work to do now,” Martin said. “We have a partner who’s willing to listen to us, and we need to be there to provide the kind of advice and support that he will need to lead this state.

“We had a part in this victory, and I couldn’t be more proud of the WEAC members who participated. The work you did will not go unnoticed,” Martin said.

“And now we go back to our classes and we do what we do every single day, and that’s make life better for students. And you can count on WEAC to be there to support you, so you can focus on your students.”

In other statewide races, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin easily won re-election over Republican challenger Leah Vukmir, while Democrat Josh Kaul was narrowly leading incumbent Attorney General Brad Schimel with 99 percent of the vote in. Secretary of State Doug La Follette was re-elected, and Sarah Godlewski was elected State Treasurer. Republicans came out of the election holding majorities in both houses of the Legislature.

Read more:

Tony Evers defeats Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s governor’s race

After upending Wisconsin politics and infuriating liberals across the country, Gov. Scott Walker narrowly lost his bid for a third term to Tony Evers.

Tony Evers beats Scott Walker to win Wisconsin governor’s race in nail-biter

Democrat Tony Evers has won the Wisconsin governor’s race in a stunning upset of two-term Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

Evers launches ‘Tour for Change’ in closing days of campaign for governor


As the campaign for governor enters its last few days, Democratic candidate Tony Evers is touring the state in a school bus, outlining the sharp differences between himself and incumbent Scott Walker, who is well known for attacking public school educators and gutting funds for public education. Evers’ Tour for Change began Wednesday and continues through Monday, the day before the election. Below are scheduled bus tour stops as of Thursday, November 1.

Eau Claire:

W.R. Davies Student Center

77 Roosevelt Ave

Eau Claire, WI 54701

Thursday, November 1

Time: 12:15PM




Hop and Barrel

310 2nd St

Hudson, WI 54016

Thursday, November 1

Time: 2:45PM




Thirsty Pagan Brewing

1623 Broadway St

Superior, WI 54880

Thursday, November 1

Time: 6:45PM




Blue Wave Inn

2521 Lake Shore Dr W

Ashland, WI 54806

Thursday, November 1

Time: 9:15PM




Rhinelander Cafe + Pub

33 N Brown Street

Rhinelander, WI 54501

Friday, November 2

Time: 9:45AM




Marathon County Democratic Party

833 S 3rd Ave

Wausau, WI 54401

Friday, November 2

Time: 12:15PM



Stevens Point:

Location TBD

Friday, November 2




Winnebago County Democratic Party Office

480 N Main St

Oshkosh, WI 54901

Friday, November 2

Time: 4:15PM




Ryans on York

712 York St

Manitowoc, WI 54220

Friday, November 2

Time: 6:15PM



Green Bay:

Teamsters Local Union 662

1546 Main St

Green Bay, WI 54302

Saturday, November 3

Time: 8:45AM




Outagamie Democratic Party

Saturday, November 3

2701 N Oneida St

Appleton, WI 54911

Time: 11:30AM



Fond du Lac

Fond Du Lac Democratic Party

239 S. Main St

Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Saturday, November 3

Time: 1:15PM




The Hub

1611 Eastern Avenue

Plymouth, WI 53073

Saturday, November 3

Time: 2:45PM




Waukesha County Democratic Party Office

336 Wisconsin Ave

Waukesha, WI 53186

Saturday, November 3

Time: 5:15PM




Bay View Office

2999 S. Delaware Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53702

Saturday, November 3

Time: 7:45PM




Racine County Democratic Party office

507 6th Street

Racine, WI 53403

Sunday, November 4




UAW Local 72 Union Hall

3615 Washington Rd

Kenosha, WI 53144

Sunday, November 4

Time: 2:45PM




Coordinated Campaign southside office

725 W. Historic Mitchell Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204

Sunday, November 4

Time: 4:45PM




Location TBD

Monday, November 5

Time: 10:30AM




Janesville Coordinated Campaign Office

50 S Main St.

Janesville, WI 53545

Monday, November 5

Time: 11:45AM





Monday, November 5

Time: 1:15PM





Monday, November 5

Time: 4:45PM


There’s only one education champion in Wisconsin’s race for governor, and that’s Tony Evers

The following article, written by Amanda Litvinov, originally appeared on the NEA website EducationVotes.org:

Keep up with the latest election news on the WEAC Politics & Elections Board.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has taken to calling himself a “pro-education governor” — a laughable claim to educators in the state.

Here are just a few reasons to question Walker’s commitment to education:

  • During Walker’s first five years, he cut state funding for K-12 schools by $1.2 billion. It was a devastating blow to the state’s public schools.
  • Walker has worked hard to expand the state’s voucher program. Like Betsy DeVos, Walker supports diverting scarce public school funding to private schools through such schemes. Vouchers have not been shown to significantly improve student performance, but they have been shown to undermine student civil rights.
  • Under Walker, public university funding was slashed by $250 million.
  • Walker stripped educators and other public workers of collective bargaining rights, despite public outcry. Unions bargain for better working conditions for educators, as well as students’ learning conditions.

Walker’s record could not be more dismal on education. Standing in sharp contrast is his opponent, a proven champion of public education.

Dr. Tony Evers has decades of experience in public education, serving first as a classroom teacher, then as principal and the state superintendent of public instruction.  Here are his plans and priorities:

  • Evers’ budget plan increases public school funding by $1.4 billion. It restores the state’s commitment to covering two-thirds of public education funding, and increases the state’s share of special education funding to 60 percent.
  • Evers will freeze the school voucher program as a first step toward its eventual phase-out.
  • He strongly supports: community schools that help meet the needs of students and families in the local community; expanding mental health services; increased funding for education support professionals.
  • Evers plans to place in statute requirements for teacher voice to be part of all education-related decision and policy-making initiatives.
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“We – and I – have been waiting for this day for a long, long time,” Evers said at an election rally in September. “We’re going to take back control of our schools.”

Evers earned the recommendation of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the state’s largest educator union. Members like Kay Hansen, a special needs paraeducator and WEAC member, are highly enthusiastic about the upcoming election.

“As a special education paraprofessional in a rural, northeastern Wisconsin school, I see firsthand how Scott Walker’s huge cuts to public schools have hurt my most vulnerable students,” said Hansen.

“Dr. Evers, on the other hand, is a teacher himself and has vowed to restore state funding for my special education students.”

Evers listens to the concerns of educators like Hansen for their students and their profession.

“Our educators are on the front lines of these challenges, so when they speak up about bad education policy, deteriorating schools, or the massive teacher exodus we’re facing, they’re doing right by our kids,” said Evers at a gathering of WEAC educators in September.

“They’re reminding us that education — like democracy — doesn’t come for free. It must be nurtured, sustained, and invested in over time.”

This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members.


Check out these great WEAC election resources

WEAC has created more election resources than ever before as we approach the critical November 6 election. We have:

  • Created our Elections Resource Page at weac.org/election, a sort of clearinghouse of election information and resources.
  • Made it easy for you to find out who WEAC and NEA are recommending in your area, just by going to weac.org/vote.
  • Created a document at weac.org/clerks with phone numbers of your local clerks so you can call them and find out when early voting hours are in your community.
  • Created a document at weac.org/opportunities that lists many options for how you can get involved in the election.
  • Created Election Watch news alerts that you can receive in your inbox simply by signing up at weac.org/election-watch.

And, every day, we are gathering news articles and organizing them on our Politics and Elections Board at weac.org/election2018, to help you keep up with the latest news and developments.

The Politics and Elections Board is a collection of articles from news outlets such as the Washington Post, Politico, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and many other sources, as well as internal NEA, WEAC and Regional communications. It’s a great way to follow election news from a lot of different voices that you might otherwise miss. We scan the Internet daily and use a platform called Scoop.it to gather and organize these news articles and resources.

You can access this resource by clicking on this Politics and Election Board link or by going to: weac.org/election2018. For your convenience, we also are embedding it below:

Washington Post says Walker’s assault on public education ‘could be coming back to bite him’

In an analysis of the Wisconsin governor’s race, the Washington Post says state residents are not buying Scott Walker’s ironic claim that he is the ‘education governor,’ and instead recognize that he has severely cut public school budgets and worked to undermine respect for educators.

“Though the election is still a few weeks away and anything can happen, (Democrat Tony) Evers has been leading in recent polls, and Walker’s efforts to recast himself as the ‘education governor’ don’t appear to have convinced his critics. His education ‘reform’ agenda could be coming back to bite him at a time when interest in supporting public education in Wisconsin seems to be growing among many residents at the local level,” the article states.

The article notes that Evers has been a teacher, principal and superintendent and is now in his third term as Wisconsin’s superintendent of public instruction.

Evers, it says, “has called for much more funding for public schools and has been critical of the state’s voucher programs, which use public money for private and religious school funding. He is seen as a threat by supporters of the ‘school choice’ movement.”

The article concludes: “Voters will soon decide whether Walker’s record is good enough to give him a third term, but if they decide against him, his education agenda will have played a big role.”

Read the entire article:

Analysis | Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on public education could be coming back to bite him

This was the beginning of a July news story in the Capital Times in Madison, Wis., about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign for a third term as a Republican governor: When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker started branding himself “the pro-education governor,” one of his Democratic opponents said he “thought it was a joke from The Onion.”

NBC/Marist poll shows Evers leading Walker by 10 points

A new poll released Thursday by NBC/Marist shows Democratic candidate Tony Evers leading incumbent Governor Scott Walker by 10 points, just four weeks ahead of the November 6 election. The results vary sharply from a poll released earlier in the week by Marquette University Law School. That poll had the governor’s race in a statistical tie, although a Marquette poll two weeks earlier showed Evers leading Walker by 7 points.

The latest NBC/Marist poll shows Evers with 53 percent support among likely voters in a head-to-head matchup, while Walker gets 43 percent. Among the larger pool of registered voters in the state, Evers’ lead is 9 points, 52 percent to 43 percent — down from his 13-point lead in July’s NBC/Marist poll.

The NBC/Marist poll said the differences between its results and those of Marquette poll are attributed to these factors:

1. The polls use different samples: Marquette uses a voter list; Marist uses random digit dialing.

2. The polls use different likely-voter models: Marquette’s model is based exclusively on voters certain to vote; Marist’s uses a probability model based on interest, chance of vote and past vote.

3. Voter ID: Marquette’s sample among likely voters was R+3; Marist’s was D+1.

Whatever the polls show now, it is clear, said WEAC President Ron Martin, that getting out the vote will make the difference in the November 6 election.

“Wisconsin public school educators stand firmly with Dr. Evers, because he’s focused on the issues that matter – like schools and roads,” Martin said.

Read more about the NBC/Marist poll:

Poll: Walker trails in race for Wisconsin governor

Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is behind by double digits in his re-election bid, while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is comfortably ahead as a near majority of likely voters say they prefer Democrats to control Congress, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll of the state.

Poll: Walker down 10 points in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is trailing state schools superintendent Tony Evers by 10 points in his reelection bid, according to an NBC News/Marist poll released Thursday. Walker gets 43 percent of likely voters’ support in the survey, while 53 percent support Evers. Walker also has a significant deficit when comparing the two candidates’ favorability ratings.

Evers, Walker statistically tied in latest Marquette University Law School poll

With just four weeks to go until the November 6 election, the latest Marquette University Law School poll has incumbent Governor Scott Walker with 47 percent support among likely voters, compared to 46 percent for Democrat Tony Evers and 5 percent for Libertarian Phil Anderson. The results amount to a statistical tie. In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Tammy Baldwin leads Republican Leah Vukmir, 53 percent to 43 percent.


Election excitement, activism is high among educators in Wisconsin and throughout the nation

Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota are part of a movement following the educator-driven #RedForEd effort that has created a surge in political activism in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and North Dakota, according to an article on EducationVotes.org.

The article quotes WEAC President Ron Martin, who observes that educators are getting out the vote “with an unprecedented level of engagement.”

“It’s an excitement that is new and different, even surpassing our activism in recent governor and recall elections,” Martin says.

By supporting pro-education candidates like Tony Evers for governor and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, WEAC members and volunteers are helping to bring education issues to the forefront.

“The best thing we have going for us is that the public finally understands how their families, schools and communities are impacted by self-serving politicians and policies that hurt public schools and the middle class,” says Martin. “With 80 percent of voters saying they want funding restored to their neighborhood public schools, Wisconsinites know they have to go to the polls or risk four more years of bad leadership.”

Read the entire article:

Midterms loom large as educators seeking posts inspire high levels of activism – Education Votes

More than 500 educators are currently on the campaign trail leading up to midterm showdowns from Alaska to Maine that have transfixed the nation. Educator candidacies together with the drama surrounding this year’s #RedForEd protests against the neglect in state K-12 education budgets has produced a wave of political activism unlike the nation has seen in modern times.

Voters will decide 82 school referendum questions on November 6

Voters throughout the state will decide 82 school referendum questions in 61 school districts on November 6. The referendums seek a total of $1.4 billion in school improvements, including 11 to build new schools, 24 for safety and security improvements, 40 for site and building improvements, 28 for maintaining facilities and 12 for maintaining current educational program levels, according to a Wisconsin Policy Forum report.

The large number of referendums continues a trend that has seen voters approve more than 1,600 referendums totaling $12 billion since 1990, a trend that has been accelerating in recent years. Voters already have approved about $648.1 million in referendums in 48 school districts this year, and approval rates have been rising since 2003, hitting 79% in 2016. Recent polls have supported the trend of citizens wanting to maintain quality public schools, with voters saying they favor tax increases over cuts to school funding.

State Superintendent Tony Evers, who is running for governor, has said voters are demonstrating their strong support for public education despite incumbent Governor Scott Walker’s record of cutting state funding for schools. In effect, he says, the referendums amount to a “Scott Walker tax” that citizens are imposing on themselves to keep their schools healthy.

The largest school district referendums on the November 6 ballot are:

  • Middleton-Cross Plains Area: $138.9 million
  • Wauwatosa: $124.9 million
  • Stevens Point: $75.9 million
  • West De Pere (2 questions): $74.7 million
  • Oak Creek–Franklin: $60.9 million
  • Waukesha: $60.0 million
  • Cedarburg: $59.8 million
  • Monona Grove: $57.0 million
  • Oregon: $44.9 million
  • Burlington: $43.7 million
  • Edgerton: $40.6 million
  • Pewaukee: $39.7 million
  • Viroqua: $36.8 million
  • Evansville: $34.0 million
  • Greendale: $33.8 million
  • Wisconsin Dells: $33.7 million
  • Poynette: $28.4 million
  • Beloit Turner: $26.5 million
  • Sevastopol: $25.1 million
  • Waterford Graded: $24.9 million
  • Holmen: $23.5 million

Find out details about all the school referendums at https://apps4.dpi.wi.gov/referendum/customreporting.aspx:

Custom Referenda Reporting

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Wisconsin school referendums seek more than $1.4 billion in borrowing on November ballots

Wisconsin taxpayers will be asked to commit more than $1 billion in additional funding for their public schools in the November election. And if they pass at the rates seen in recent years, 2018 could be the highest year on record for dollars raised by school district referendums, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.