Governor Evers honored as WEAC’s 2019 Friend of Education

Governor Evers, with WEAC President Ron Martin, proudly displays the 2019 WEAC Friend of Education Award.
Governor Evers accepts the 2019 WEAC Friend of Education Award. (Photo by Tammy Erickson.)

Governor Tony Evers was awarded the 2019 WEAC Friend of Education Award at the annual WEAC Representative Assembly on Saturday in Oshkosh. The Governor made a surprise appearance before hundreds of excited delegates and thanked them for their support of him over the years and especially in his campaign for governor.

“Who would have guessed,” Evers said, “a teacher educator, a former WEAC member, would be elected Governor of the State of Wisconsin? I could not have done it without WEAC. I could not have done it without all of you,” the governor said.

“I believe, as you all believe, that what’s best for kids is what’s best for our state. I said that a million times on the campaign trail, and that’s why we won this race.”

In presenting the award, WEAC President Ron Martin said;

“It is with great personal pleasure and pride that I present this year’s Friend of Education Award to a person who has devoted his entire life to the children of Wisconsin and to ensuring that they have the very best public schools they possibly could have. A man who was a teacher and then a principal and then a district administrator – twice – and then became Wisconsin’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction. And who then – as if that wasn’t enough – decided he had to do even more to advance the cause of public education. And he did it. He became governor of the State of Wisconsin!

“Every step along the way, every day of his adult life, Tony Evers has put children first. He has made enormous personal sacrifices to advance the greater good, to help ensure that Wisconsin public schools are strong and that every student gets a quality education and a better opportunity in life.”

In nominating him for the award, National Board Certified Teacher Amy Traynor said Governor Evers has demonstrated over and over again his willingness to involve educators and citizens in education decisions and to listen carefully to them.

“He understands that the people working most closely with students are the ones who should always be part of the conversation,” Amy wrote, continuing: “Governor Evers has worked tirelessly for the last 35 years to enhance and promote public education. And now as governor he is continuing to be a friend of education and a huge advocate for Wisconsin’s kids and families!”

WEAC Representative Assembly delegates take selfies with Governor Evers as he greets them on the RA floor following his acceptance of the 2019 WEAC Friend of Education Award.
The Governor poses with members of the Green Bay Education Association.

President Martin, Vice President Wirtz-Olsen re-elected

WEAC President Ron Martin was elected to a second, three-year term (unopposed) and Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen was also tapped for another three-year term (unopposed). Other elected union members were Nicholas J. Sirek, NEA Director; Amanda Oudenhoven, Alternate NEA Director; Jesse Martinez, Minority Guarantee Representative to the WEAC Board; and Alexandra Agar-Pratt, Alternate Minority Guarantee Representative to the WEAC Board.


New Business Items

Click here for the New Business Items passed by the 2019 WEAC Representative Assembly


WEAC Resolutions

Click here for the 2019-2020 WEAC Resolutions as passed by the 2019 WEAC Representative Assembly


Outline for Moving Forward

Wisconsin Public Schools: Key Factors for Moving Forward was presented to nearly 500 educator-delegates at the annual meeting. This document, created by state officers based on academic research and discussions with WEAC members across the state, covers the restoration of professional status of educators; improvement of school conditions and climate; and establishment of educator attraction and retention policies. The next steps will be to share the solutions with WEAC members across Wisconsin. Read the paper here, and look for opportunities to get involved coming soon.

Investing in Early Career Educators and Professional Development

Supporting Professional Development and Early Career Educators was a key theme from the Representative Assembly’s actions, with the body voting to approve extra investments in educator-led courses and workshops and an affirmation of the place in our union for educators in the early stages of their careers, as well as for future teachers.

More Awards

Other awards presented at the 2019 RA include the following, with President Ron Martin’s description of each winner:

The Tenia Jenkins Activist Award

This year’s recipient of the Tenia Jenkins Activist Award is Regina Pagel, whose involvement in WEAC goes back to her days as a leader of what we then called the Student WEA. Throughout the many years since then, she has repeatedly and continuously demonstrated her deep commitment to students, teachers, education support professionals and the community – both in in Waunakee, where she teaches World Language and has served as president of the local association, and Sun Prairie, where she lives and is heavily involved in local advocacy groups. Gina is active promoting quality public schools and making life better for students through organizations that include the Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition, an organization called Support Sun Prairie Schools, the Sun Prairie Democratic Action Team, and the Wisconsin Public Education Network. She makes a difference every day in school and in the community. In nominating her for this award, her friend and colleague Jane Weidner said; “Overall, Gina is the embodiment of the ideals recognized through this prestigious award.” Congratulations, Gina!

Education Support Professional Award

This year’s Education Support Professional Award goes to Katherine Hinson, a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Bayfield School District who is known for her compassion for her students, dedication to public schools and the union, hard work and great instincts. In nominating Kathie for this award, Lorie Erickson said she is “the most dedicated paraprofessional I have ever worked with.” … “Every day,” Lori writes, “she goes above and beyond to educate, care for and provide emotional support for some of the most struggling students in our school.” Melissa Giesregen, the Director of Special Services and K-5 Principal, says Kathie “is always one of the first paraprofessionals to recognize when a student is having difficulties and immediately takes action to remedy the situation. The students both respect and adore her.” Congratulations, Kathie!

Richard J. Lewandowski Award

This year’s Richard J. Lewandowski Award for humanitarian activities goes to Kelly O’Keefe Boettcher, an English teacher at Milwaukee’s Rufus King International High School where she is not only a personable, highly effective and extremely popular teacher but someone who has mastered the art of connecting students with the world outside the classroom. Her nominee, fellow educator Michelle Young, says OKB – as Kelly is known by her students – “stimulates rich conversations” with all students “in an ethnic, religious and economically diverse environment.” Kelly works to improve relations between students of different backgrounds in part by guiding student organizations including Jew Crew and Friends of Islam, which work to “educate and fight stereotypes and racial hatreds by encouraging students to become believers in diversity and interfaith equality.” … “OKB,” Michelle continues, “also promotes social equity and justice among African American and Hispanic students by revealing their history, acknowledging discrimination, and engaging them in courageous conversations about open-mindedness and injustice with all groups of students.” Kelly also promotes peace, equity, fairness and justice in the community through media interviews and other activities. As Michelle says, Kelly is “a positive role model for the entire school community and an individual of high-value standards who believes it is her responsibility to be an upstander, not a bystander, for social justice.” Congratulations, Kelly!

President’s Awards

President Martin also awarded several President’s Awards. The recipients were:

Joe Williams, an Ellsworth High School English teacher who has served as vice-chair on the WEAC Governance Documents Committee. He also tri-chaired the Early Career Educator Task Force. Joe was selected by delegates to the NEA RA to serve on the NEA Resolutions Committee.  

Lynn Goss, who has served on the NEA Board of Directors for 7 years. A respected ESP member, she is tapped often by NEA to train other ESP leaders. She has been on the WEAC Board of Directors, serves as Region 1 Treasurer and has a long history of leadership in her local. 

Keri Hetzel, who started her union leadership at UW-La Crosse as the local chapter president and at the same served on the WEAC Region 9 Aspiring Educators of Wisconsin board of directors. She then was selected as the President Elect and this past year led the organization. She is full of energy and ideas.

Gretchen Kubeny, who has served on the GBEA Executive Board and is a building representative. She has served as the vice chair of the WEAC Credentials and Elections Committee for the past three years. She ends her term and time as a member of the Credentials and Elections Committee.  

Deb Bell, who is Region 1 President and on the WEAC Board. She is ending her term and will not run for another term. Deb has served on many committees in her local, region and state, and has been on the WEAC Steering Committee for the NEA RA.

Randy Ebright, who currently serves as the WEAC Region 5 President and serves on the WEAC Board of Directors. During past years, Randy served on the WEAC Board of Directors representing South Central Education Association (SCEA). Randy will be retiring.

Rising Star Awards

WEAC has a Rising Star award for members who are standouts in union activism, and here are our recipients this year:

Casey Silkwood, an Early Career Educator who is a Building Representative from MTEA. She was a Tri-Chair for the Early Career Educator Taskforce and has demonstrated strong leadership and a passion for unionism.

Curtis Kadow, Co-President of the Cudahy Education Association. He participated in the NEA Leadership Summit where he excelled, and continues to become more active in his Local and Region.

WEAC Scholarships

WEAC also awarded scholarships to four children of WEAC members who are planning to pursue careers in education. The winners are:

Kyra is winner of the Kathy Mann Scholarship for minority students.

Cunningham, Dickinson, Watson Staff Award

WEAC Executive Director Bob Baxter presented the 2019 Cunningham, Dickinson, Watson staff awards to WEAC Media Relations Officer Christina Brey and Membership Coordinator Patti Westphal.

Christina Brey

Brey, he said, oversees leadership communications and newsletters across our internal platforms. She also tracks and analyzes legislation, runs WEAC’s alerts and Action Network system, represents WEAC at the Progressive Table, leads national communications and organizing trainings, manages national grant programs, leads member and potential member polling projects and handles all media inquiries.

Westphal, who has been WEAC’s Membership Coordinator for over 30 years, is “reliable, hard-working and conscientious,” Baxter said.

More photos:

A new era supportive of public education and educators is about to begin, Evers says in phone call to WEAC members

Governor-Elect Tony Evers personally thanked WEAC members for the critically important role they played in helping him win this month’s “watershed” election that will change the way Wisconsin state government treats public schools and educators.

“The hard work of the campaign is over. The hard work of governing and making sure that we are being supportive of the people who work in the schools begins now in earnest,” Evers said during a Tele-Town Hall conversation with WEAC members throughout the state. All WEAC members were invited to participate in the phone call last week.

“I can’t thank you enough for all the good work you have done to get us this far, to get us through eight years that have been exhausting, exacerbating and frankly demoralizing for the people who work in our schools and work with our kids. Those things are over. The issue of making sure that we value the people who work in our schools, that will never be a problem for me. I did it as State Superintendent and I will do it as governor of the State of Wisconsin.

“Survive we will. Thrive we will,” Evers said.

Evers said his top priority as governor will be “to make sure that educators have the resources they need and have the policies in place” that lead to quality public education. And, he said, it is important that educators have a voice in making decisions. “I give you my pledge,” he said, “that we’ll be working with your leadership and you personally if you want to be involved in any way possible.”

The governor-elect asked educators to keep advocating for public education and to work to support the budget he will be presenting to the Legislature early next year. That budget will include a large increase in public school funding, additional money for programs that serve students with disabilities, and increased funding for after-school, 4-K, mental health and English learner programs.

“It’s going to take your efforts across the state of Wisconsin to get our budget passed,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with you all. I certainly appreciate your support and guidance in the past. Now we’re in a position where we’re going to govern.”

Listen to Governor-Elect Tony Evers’ message to WEAC members:

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

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83074/

 

Hudson:

Hop and Barrel

310 2nd St

Hudson, WI 54016

Thursday, November 1

Time: 2:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83075/

 

Superior:

Thirsty Pagan Brewing

1623 Broadway St

Superior, WI 54880

Thursday, November 1

Time: 6:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83078/

 

Ashland:

Blue Wave Inn

2521 Lake Shore Dr W

Ashland, WI 54806

Thursday, November 1

Time: 9:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83081/

 

Rhinelander:

Rhinelander Cafe + Pub

33 N Brown Street

Rhinelander, WI 54501

Friday, November 2

Time: 9:45AM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83083/

 

Wausau:

Marathon County Democratic Party

833 S 3rd Ave

Wausau, WI 54401

Friday, November 2

Time: 12:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83085/

 

Stevens Point:

Location TBD

Friday, November 2

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83087/

 

Oshkosh:

Winnebago County Democratic Party Office

480 N Main St

Oshkosh, WI 54901

Friday, November 2

Time: 4:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83088/

 

Manitowoc:

Ryans on York

712 York St

Manitowoc, WI 54220

Friday, November 2

Time: 6:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83093/

 

Green Bay:

Teamsters Local Union 662

1546 Main St

Green Bay, WI 54302

Saturday, November 3

Time: 8:45AM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83096/

 

Appleton:

Outagamie Democratic Party

Saturday, November 3

2701 N Oneida St

Appleton, WI 54911

Time: 11:30AM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83098/

 

Fond du Lac

Fond Du Lac Democratic Party

239 S. Main St

Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Saturday, November 3

Time: 1:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83102/

 

Plymouth

The Hub

1611 Eastern Avenue

Plymouth, WI 53073

Saturday, November 3

Time: 2:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83106/

 

Waukesha

Waukesha County Democratic Party Office

336 Wisconsin Ave

Waukesha, WI 53186

Saturday, November 3

Time: 5:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83107/

 

Milwaukee

Bay View Office

2999 S. Delaware Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53702

Saturday, November 3

Time: 7:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83109/

 

Racine

Racine County Democratic Party office

507 6th Street

Racine, WI 53403

Sunday, November 4

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83110/

 

Kenosha

UAW Local 72 Union Hall

3615 Washington Rd

Kenosha, WI 53144

Sunday, November 4

Time: 2:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83113/

 

Milwaukee

Coordinated Campaign southside office

725 W. Historic Mitchell Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204

Sunday, November 4

Time: 4:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83116/

 

Beloit

Location TBD

Monday, November 5

Time: 10:30AM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83125/

 

Janesville

Janesville Coordinated Campaign Office

50 S Main St.

Janesville, WI 53545

Monday, November 5

Time: 11:45AM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83127/

 

Whitewater

TBD

Monday, November 5

Time: 1:15PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83129/

 

Madison

TBD

Monday, November 5

Time: 4:45PM

events.mobilizeamerica.io/dpw/event/83130/

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.

 

Mother Jones: How parents and teachers ‘could expel Scott Walker from office’

A new article from Mother Jones expertly summarizes the race for Wisconsin governor, pitting pro-public education candidate Tony Evers against Scott Walker, who began his term in 2011 by attacking and undermining the state’s public employees, including teachers and education support professionals, and then followed up with massive cuts to Wisconsin’s public schools. The article points out:

During his first five years in office, Walker cut education spending by a total of $1.2 billion. More recently, he’s increased funding somewhat, though not enough to offset the damage caused by the earlier reductions.

The result has been disastrous. Districts around the state face applicant shortages when trying to fill job openings, as teachers look for work in other states and new college graduates avoid the profession altogether. Between the 2011-12 and 2015-16 school years, median compensation for Wisconsin’s public school teachers fell 12.6 percent, a reduction in wages and benefits of nearly $11,000 annually, according to a study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. “We’ve been nonstop battling the effects of [Act 10],” says Amy Mizialko, the president of the Milwaukee teachers’ union. “Our students have suffered greatly as a result.” …

“To beat Scott Walker, we need a stronger vision for our future,” Evers says in his first TV ad. “Instead of investing…in handouts to companies like Foxconn, I’m gonna invest in our kids and our workers…I’m going to make sure that every kid gets a great school, no matter what the zip code.”

Read the entire article:

Will pissed-off parents and teachers expel Scott Walker from office?

Tom Rulseh was baffled by the email from an angry constituent. Why, the woman demanded to know, had the Three Lakes School District allowed Gov. Scott Walker to film a campaign ad in a public school that had nearly been forced to close thanks in part to Walker’s own budget cuts?

PBS News Hour: Education is at the heart of the Wisconsin race for governor

Education is front and center in the race for Wisconsin governor, and the PBS News Hour took a close look at the radically different approaches the two candidates – incumbent Scott Walker and State Superintendent Tony Evers – have on the subject. The report begins with Evers visiting a Milwaukee public school on the first day of school, while Walker is at a charter school in Waukesha.

Heather DuBois Bourenane, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Education Network, put it all in perspective, proudly displaying her T-shirt that says: “I Love My Public School and I Vote!”

“It’s about making sure that whomever gets elected is held accountable to the highest possible standard of doing the right things for kids in schools,” she says.

“Clearly, my lifelong journey has been all about public education and being a teacher and an administrator,” Evers says. “And, frankly, I have fought for our schools, instead of bringing them down.”

Watch the PBS News Hour report:

School concerns spur passions in Wisconsin governor’s race

In Wisconsin’s race for governor, 40 percent of voters say education is their first or second most important concern. The Republican incumbent, Gov. Scott Walker, is squaring off against the state’s longtime superintendent of schools, Tony Evers. Polls indicate the race is too close to call. Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week reports.

Evers calls for restoring respect for Wisconsin’s schools and educators

Wisconsin must restore respect for Wisconsin’s public schools and educators and listen to teachers and education support professionals, who have the best interests of students at heart, State  Superintendent Tony Evers said Thursday in his annual State of Education Address.

“Our educators are on the front lines of these challenges,” he said “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. And we should listen. They’re reminding us that education – like democracy – doesn’t come for free. It must be nurtured, sustained, and invested in over time.”

Evers called for reinvesting in public schools, “so that every kid can thrive.”

“Together,” he said, “we can bring civility and collaboration back to public education and to public life.”

Evers said education remains – as it has always been – “the great equalizer” and the pathway to prosperity, as well as the key to a skilled workforce and a robust economy.

But, he said, Wisconsin’s priorities are out of whack.

“Today in Wisconsin we’re spending less on our public schools than we did eight years ago – putting us below the national average. We serve over 50,000 English learners – and that number is growing. We serve over 120,000 special needs students. Four in every 10 kids are economically disadvantaged. 

“A decade of disinvestment hasn’t magically solved problems, increased student performance, or improved our competitive edge. Divisive solutions from Washington and Madison haven’t made things better. These policies are failing us. But the people of Wisconsin know there’s a better way.”

Evers noted that over the past few years, more than 1.1 million residents throughout the state rallied behind public education and voted to raise their own taxes to support their schools. 

“Now is the time to adopt a transformational education budget that responds to this call,” he said. “A budget that provides educators what they deserve: the resources they need to meet the needs of our kids. A budget that increases opportunities, closes gaps, and allows for competitive compensation. 

“We must continue raising our voices until they can no longer be ignored,” Evers concluded. “Together, we can restore respect for Wisconsin schools and educators. Together, we can reinvest in our schools so that every kid can thrive. Together, we can bring civility and collaboration back to public education and to public life.”

Read more about Evers’ budget proposal:

Evers’ budget plan increases public school funding by $1.4 billion, achieves two-thirds state funding of schools

Evers’ budget plan increases public school funding by $1.4 billion, achieves two-thirds state funding of schools

State Superintendent Tony Evers on Sunday unveiled a state education budget proposal that increases state funding of public K-12 schools by $1.4 billion over the next two years and achieves two-thirds state funding of education. 

“The budget I’m submitting responds to the very real challenges our schools and educators face each and every day,” Evers said. “It changes how we fund our schools and provides resources to our educators to meet the needs of every child.”

Specifically, the budget: 

  • Makes an unprecedented $600 million investment in special education, increasing the reimbursement rate from 25 percent to 60 percent, while expanding funding for English learners and rural schools.
  • Provides nearly $64 million more for student mental health funding, a tenfold increase.
  • Funds full-day 4-year-old kindergarten for the state’s youngest learners, creates the state’s first funding stream for after-school programs, and establishes new opportunities for children in the largest urban school districts.
  • Reforms the state’s broken school finance system to help districts of all sizes, including revenue limit fairness so lower spending districts can catch up and all districts can plan for the future. 

“Our students deserve our support as they prepare to inherit this great state,” Evers said. “As parents, fellow educators, taxpayers, and citizens of Wisconsin, I ask for your support during the 2019-21 biennial budget process so that every child gets a shot at a great Wisconsin education.” 

State budget highlights:

2019-21 State Budget Information

State Superintendent Tony Evers is rolling out major budget requests for the 2019-2021 biennium. Information will be added here as it becomes ready. Topics:

Read more:

Tony Evers calls for nearly $1.7 billion hike in state funding for K-12 schools

Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools would receive a nearly $1.7 billion increase in state funding over the current budget cycle under state Superintendent Tony Evers’ two-year budget proposal released Sunday. Evers, the Democrat challenging Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov.

 

Evers to face Walker on November 6

Tony Evers

State Superintendent Tony Evers will face Scott Walker in the November 6 election for Wisconsin governor. Evers handily won the eight-candidate Democratic Primary election Tuesday. On the Republican side, Walker easily defeated little known Robert Meyer of Sun Prairie.

In an email to supporters after winning the nomination, Evers said:

“This race is a choice between 4 more years of Scott Walker putting Scott Walker first, or a new governor focused on making decisions in the best interest of real Wisconsin families — who deserve access to good healthcare, safe roads and high quality public education.”

In other races on Tuesday:

  • Lieutenant Governor: Democrat Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee will be paired with Evers as the lieutenant governor candidate. Incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was uncontested in the primary.
  • State Treasurer: Businesswoman Sarah Godlewski, who was recommended by the WEAC Board, won the Democratic nomination for State Treasurer. The Republican candidate will be Travis Hartwig.
  • Secretary of State: Incumbent Doug La Follette won the Democratic nomination. Republican businessman Jay Schroeder will challenge La Follette in November.
  • U.S. Senate: Republican State Senator Leah Vukmir of Brookfield advanced to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in November.

Read about other Primary Election results:

Election results: Wisconsin and Milwaukee-area August 2018 primary election

Wisconsin and Milwaukee-area residents head to the polls on August 14 to vote in a number of contested state and local primary races. Here’s who’s on the ballot.

More Resources: