Apparently your voices were heard …. at least for now.
Late Wednesday morning leadership of the Senate Education Committee canceled a vote — set last night for Thursday — on Senate Bill 76. As of now, the executive session has not be rescheduled.
The people of Wisconsin who believe in their community schools won this round.
Go ahead and breath a sigh of relief, at least for now. Make no mistake, however, that SB76 is part of a broader strategy to open as many for-profit education opportunities — at the expense of public schools — as possible. Remember, the substitute version of the bill which was to be voted on allowed corporate charters to open across the state with resources intended for Wisconsin’s 870,000 public school kids.
In other words, continue to read this story and make the contacts suggested. SB76 or whatever it can be turned into next will be back.
Last week, the Senate Education Committee did hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 76 (and, more importantly Substitute Amendment 1). Like Thursday’s vote, it was called on short notice and with little, if any, fanfare.
This isn’t the way things are normally done in Wisconsin’s Legislature …. or at least they shouldn’t be.
Senate Bill 76 would expand the ability of corporations to start for-profit charters any where in the state. Local school boards would be mandated to enter into contracts for the new charters and local communities would have no say in their expansion, whether they want them or not. Additionally, funding for any new for-profit charters would come from existing public schools.
You need to act and you need to act now. It’s time to reclaim public education in Wisconsin, and we don’t do that when children are being lured into non-public charters so that some corporation can make a profit.
First, call the members of your school board and your public school superintendent. Make sure they contact their state organizations, the Wisconsin School Boards Association and the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.
Second, contact your legislators immediately and tell them you want your community’s public school children to have a world-class education. Let them know that expanding statewide for-profit charters — and, in the recent state budget, publicly funded private schools in the voucher scheme — takes opportunities to learn and succeed away from your children and over 800,000 public school children statewide. You can find out who your legislators and their contact information here.
This proposal is not in the interest of public schools or public school students. It’s time to start fighting back. Tell your elected officials to stop SB 76 now.