EDUCATION DAY OF ACTION: Contact the JFC to support funding for public schoosl!

Today is a statewide EDUCATION DAY OF ACTION, as the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee will take up the education budget tomorrow - Tues. May 19, 2015.  Please contact members of the committee asap and share your concerns.  My own letter is below - feel free to copy/paste or use it as inspiration.

When I sent my letter, I cc'd my own representatives and Governor Walker (,

Contact information for members of the JFC follows.

Dear JFC members,
I am writing to share my concerns about the education budget and the rumors that the proposal to takeover Milwaukee Public Schools could be included in the budget. I strongly oppose this anti-democratic measure, and ask the JFC to restore and increase funding to public schools through the following:
  1.  INCREASE PER-PUPIL FUNDING and INCREASE THE REVENUE CAP. Stopping the cuts does not meet the needs of our students - ZERO is still a cut. Restore the $150/pupil cut in special categorical aid and increase the education budget at least to an amount that keeps up with inflation.
  2. REMOVE THE CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION FROM THE BUDGET. This chartering authority is an attack on local control. Local citizens should have a say in where their money goes and independent charters take money from traditional public schools at the expense of students and taxpayers. Who is asking for this? It is certainly not the school districts or parents of Wisconsin.
  3. DROP THE EXPANSION OF STATEWIDE VOUCHERS PROGRAM WISCONSIN DOES NOT WANT AND CAN'T AFFORD.The latest application numbers from DPI show that the expanded program is only helping students who already attend private religious schools, not the "poor children" in "failing schools" they supposedly are intended to serve. I reject the hoax that our schools are failing, and call on the JFC to drop voucher expansion from the budget. Wisconsin DOES NOT WANT and CANNOT AFFORD more vouchers. Invest in public schools first, as the will of the people demands.
  4. REMOVE NON-FISCAL EDUCATION ITEMS FROM THE BUDGET Please remove the dangerous, irresponsible proposal to license anyone with "experience" and a bachelor's degree as a teacher, all items related to accountability/testing provisions, the removal of the optional participation in the integration program that ensures our schools are not segregated by race, etc. These items have no place in the budget and represent an attempt to sneak policy past the public without fair hearing. 
Education is a non-partisan issue. 78% of Wisconsinites oppose cuts to public schools and the majority would rather see taxes go up than cuts to schools (Marquette University poll). Please listen to the people and fully support the public schools that are the heart of our communities.

Thank you,
Heather DuBois Bourenane

Sen. Alberta Darling (R) 266-5830 CO-CHAIR
Sen. Luther Olsen (R) 266-0751
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) 266-7745
Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) 266-2512
Sen. Tom Tiffany (R) 266-2509
Sen. Howard Marklein (R) 266-0703
Se. Jon Erbenbach (D) 888-549-0027 FREE
Sen. Lena Taylor (D) 266-5810

Rep. John Nygren (R) 266-2343 CO-CHAIR

Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R) 266-9180
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) 266-9967
Rep. Dean Knudson (R) 266-1526
Rep. Michael Schraa (R) 267-7990
Rep. Mary Czaja (R) 266-7694
Rep. Chris Taylor (D) 266-5342
Rep. Gordon Hintz(D) 266-2254


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