Igniting Parent Advocacy

By John Forester | March 27, 2015

I am so very proud of all the grassroots advocacy we are seeing by SAA members all over the state.  In fact, several veteran school administrators have commented to me that they have never seen so many school administrators so active in advocacy efforts through board resolutions, letters to legislators, legislative forums and media events.

But, I have to say that I am most impressed by the efforts to engage parents and community members regarding the damage the governor’s proposed state budget will inflict on Wisconsin public schools and public school children.

We have posted parent/community letters from dozens of school districts on our blog.  School districts have done a great job using these letters, social media and public forums to inform their public and encourage concerned parents and citizens to contact their legislators about their concerns.

Yes, we have done a great job informing parents and community members of the impact of the proposed state budget.  But now, our challenge is to find the most effective and appropriate way to transform their knowledge and concern into action.  My Capitol sources tell me it is vitally important for lawmakers to hear from parents on the budget issues affecting their children.

Allow me to highlight the example of Save Our Schools (SOS) Wauwatosa.

As you know, Wauwatosa Superintendent Phil Ertl has been speaking out strongly about the proposed budget’s impact on Wauwatosa schools.  A couple weeks ago, Phil and the Wauwatosa School Board called together a parent group for the purpose of advocating on behalf of the children in the district.  In general, the group that assembled had not done anything political before.  Some members lean to the left politically, others to the right.  But, they are absolutely united against budget provisions that will damage educational opportunities for their children.

In one week, the group created a website, a Facebook page, designed and printed signs and testified before the Joint Finance Committee. Members are also handing out literature before and after school to get more people involved.  Here is a news article on Save Our Schools (SOS) Wauwatosa.

Wow!!  Talk about being “on fire.”

I’m sure many of you have great stories to share about the efforts of parents/community members in your community.  Send us your stories and we will post them.  Let’s share and learn together about how we can most effectively engage our parents in this fight.

Remember, we have no time to lose.  Our window of greatest potential impact is the next 6-8 weeks while the Joint Finance Committee deliberates on the budget.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Keep Budget Issues in Front of Legislators, Public

By John Forester | March 27, 2015

Many SAA members have asked for suggestions on how to keep state budget issues affecting schools in front of their legislators and their constituents for the next 8-10 weeks of the budget battle.  There are many ways to do it, but I wanted to share just two ideas with the SAA membership today.

First of all, district administrators and board presidents should agree to place “State Budget Update” on every board meeting agenda from now until the end of June.  This will provide you with an opportunity to keep the board up-to-date on budget developments and provide the local press with an opportunity to report on the discussion and keep your community updated as well.

Secondly, every time you see a newspaper article supporting our positions on school funding, vouchers or other budget issues, simply copy and send to your legislators.  You could simply say something like, “This article speaks to the issues we discussed earlier.  I thought you would like to see it.  Thanks for your continued efforts on behalf of all of us in your district.”

Thanks for listening.  And thanks for all your efforts on behalf of Wisconsin school children.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

SAA Members Testify Before JFC in Reedsburg

By John Forester | March 26, 2015

K-12 education advocates testified before the Joint Finance Committee at the last hearing in Reedsburg.  Many SAA members, several school board members, and parents expressed their concern about school funding, voucher and charter school expansion, and education policy proposals in the budget.  All in all it was a very strong showing for K-12 public education.  Please forward your testimonies to beth@wsaa.org if you testified today.

Links to the testimony delivered by several SAA members appear below:

Rick Waski – Adams Friendship

Paul Fischer – Alma Center – Humbird – Merrillan

Ben Niehaus – Goodman – Armstrong Creek

Damon Smith – Cadott

Joe Price – CESA 3

Erin Green – Greendale

Christine Weymouth – Mauston

Julie Lankey-Smallwood – Mauston

Jill Underly – Pecatonica

Margaret Rudolph – Portage

Rachel Schultz – Richland

Jeff Wright – Sauk Prairie

Tim Schell – Waunakee

Mark Elworthy – Wisconsin Heights

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

More District Budget Letters, Resolutions

By John Forester | March 25, 2015

School districts continue to reach out to their communities and legislators regarding the proposed 2015-17 state budget’s impact on the students they serve.

Amery Community Letter

Clintonville BOE Letter to Community

Colfax Budget Letter

Deerfield Budget Letter

Elk Mound Parent Letter

Fort Atkinson Resolution

Greendale Community Letter

Holmen Resolution

Horicon Budget Letter

Hustisford Budget Resolution

Hustisford Parent and Constituents

Medford Budget Resolution

Monticello Resolution

Rice Lake Board Resolution

Ripon Budget Resolution

Sauk Prairie Resolution

Tomahawk Board Resolution

Tri County School Budget Letter

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

SAA Members Testify Before JFC in Milwaukee and Rice Lake

By John Forester | March 24, 2015

K-12 education advocates had a very strong showing at the Joint Finance Committee hearings in Milwaukee and Rice Lake.  Many SAA members, several school board members, and parents expressed their concern about school funding, voucher and charter school expansion, and education policy proposals in the budget.  All in all it was a very strong showing for K-12 public education.

Links to the testimony delivered by several SAA members appear below:

Milwaukee

Deb Kerr – Brown Deer

Tim Raymond – Cambria-Friesland

Pat Greco – Menomonee Falls

Darien Driver – MPS

Rice Lake

Stephen Schiell – Amery

Craig Broeren – Barron

Jerry Walters – CESA 11

Dave Anderson – Chequamegon

Brad Saron – Chippewa Falls

Steven Kolden – Colby

Joe Sanfelippo – Fall Creek

Bruce Quinton – Pepin

Patrick Olson – Prairie Farm

Tim Widiker – St. Croix Central

Jana Stevens – Superior

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

More District Budget Letters, Resolutions

By John Forester | March 23, 2015

School districts continue to reach out to their communities and legislators regarding the proposed 2015-17 state budget’s impact on the students they serve.

Chippewa Falls Resolution

Hayward Resolution

Marshall Letter to Legislators

Marshall Resolution

St. Croix Central Resolution

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

More District Budget Letters, Resolutions

By John Forester | March 20, 2015

School districts continue to reach out to their communities and legislators regarding the proposed 2015-17 state budget’s impact on the students they serve.

Abbotsford Resolution on Budget and Vouchers

Colby Resolution on Public School Financing

Colby Resolution on Vouchers

Cuba City School Board Resolution and Letter

Delavan-Darien Resolution to Assembly

Delavan-Darien Resolution to Senators

Fall Creek Area Budget Letter

Merrill School Board Resolution

Pecatonica School Funding Resolution

Portage Community School District State Budget Resolution

Reedsburg Budget Resolution

Sheboygan State Budget Letter

Stoughton Legislator Letter

Tomah Parent Letter

Westosha Budget Letter to Parents

Westosha School Funding Resolution

Wonowoc Center Parent Newsletter 2-11-15

Wonowoc Center Parent Newsletter 3-11-15

 

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

SAA Members Testify Before JFC in Brillion

By John Forester | March 19, 2015

K-12 education advocates had a very strong showing yesterday at the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Brillion.  More than 15 SAA members, several school board members, and parents expressed their concern about school funding, voucher and charter school expansion, and education policy proposals in the budget.  All in all it was a very strong showing for K-12 public education.

Links to the testimony delivered by several SAA members appear below:

Todd Carlson – Gillett

Pat Deklotz – Kettle Moraine

Louise Fischer – Shawano

Michelle Langenfeld – Green Bay

Mark Flaten Green Bay

Deb Hunt – Valders

Pam Kercheval – Pulaski

Wally Leipart – Merrill

Dominick Madison – Brillion

Lisa Quistorf – Two Rivers

Aaron Sadoff – North Fond du Lac

 

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

More District Budget Letters, Resolutions

By John Forester | March 18, 2015

School districts continue to reach out to their communities and legislators regarding the proposed 2015-17 state budget’s impact on the students they serve.

Amery Resolution

Arcadia Resolution

Blackhawk Budget Letter

Chilton Budget Letter

Denmark Budget Letter

Fox Valley Superintendents Letter

Green Bay Letter

Hilbert Resolution

Hudson Budget Letter

Hudson Resolution

Independence Letter

Racine Budget Resolution

Riverdale Resolution

Wonowoc Center Budget Resolution

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Testifying At JFC Hearings

By John Forester | March 13, 2015

My respected sources in the Capitol have made it very clear that public schools need a strong showing at the JFC hearings.

For those of you planning to testify at the Brillion, Milwaukee, Reedsburg or Rice Lake hearings, here are my suggestions:

Once again, we need a strong showing at the JFC budget hearings.  If you have questions about testifying please call me at 608-242-1370.

Thank you.

Topics: Legislative Action, SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

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