State Senator Chris Larson will be on Zoom at our July 21st in-person meeting
Shawano Civic Center
Here is the Zoom link if you can’t make the meeting:
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson will be stopping by on his 72 county tour across the state July 28th 9:00 a.m.
Angie’s Main Café back room
132 S. Main St. Shawano, WI
Soon to be announced:
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes will be the seventh candidate to take on Johnson. We will be inviting him to a future event.
MAKE SOME IMPORTANT PHONE CALLS
Contact your representatives and tell them to support these bills to have fair maps and end gerrymandering. The bills define a new procedure for the drawing of nonpartisan legislative and congressional redistricting maps. If we want popular progressive legislation passed by our Legislature, we need to let them know that we want these bills passed:
Senate Bill 389:
Senate District 2: Robert Cowles 608-266-0484
Senate District 12: Mary Felzkowski 608-266-2509
Assembly Bill 395:
Assembly District 6: Gary Tauchen 608-266-3097
Assembly District 36: Jeffrey Mursau 608-266-3780
Assembly District 35: Calvin Callahan 608-266-7694
This is Tauchen’s last term. Tell him he needs to do what is best for our democracy—let the people choose their representatives, not the other way around. Call the Legislative Hotline if you aren’t sure of your representatives (800-362-9472).
JULY LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sent to the Shawano Leader:
This past year students and their families, schools and educators had to sacrifice so much. The one-time $2.3 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan was meant to help public schools recover. However, the funding was not meant to relieve the state of its responsibility. By law federal funding will NOT be received by any Legislature that fails to increase education funding by at least $387 million over the next two years.
The original Republican supported 2021-2023 budget sent to the governor cut Evers’ budget to $128 million, thus putting the federal aid in jeopardy. The governor, who cares deeply about education, did not want Wisconsin lose the federal funding. Therefore, he used his constitutional authority to revise the budget adding $100 million in recovery funds to invest in Wisconsin’s classrooms.
Districts will now be able to use these funds for non-pandemic-related expenses such as hiring educators and staff, providing additional educational or mental health supports or buying computers.
This is such a breath of fresh air after Wisconsin had been ranked 49th in the nation for per-pupil education investment increases. Over the past decade, Wisconsin’s investment in K-12 per pupil spending had increased a measly 4.3% compared to 18.9% nationwide. The Joint Committee on Finance had a chance to change that in the 2021-23 budget, but it took the governor to prioritize our children and their education.
In the past the State of Wisconsin had one of the best public school systems in the nation. Part of this was due to state funding which provided two-thirds of the cost. For two decades this has not been the case and the local tax payers have had to support their school districts. This made it difficult for many rural school districts to provide a quality education. Thanks to Governor Evers the 2021-23 biennial budget provides roughly $685 million in additional net general and categorical school aids. This funding restores the state’s commitment to providing two-thirds of the cost.
There will be $89 million that the governor put into reimbursement for students with disabilities and $19 million in school mental health programs. These services had been drastically underfunded.
As a retired educator, it is heartening and a relief to see our state putting money back into the education of our children.