Legislative Update – August 9

A kindergartener today will be about 37 years old by the time the state would possibly break even on tax breaks and government incentives for Foxconn, the foreign corporation proposing to set up shop in southeastern Wisconsin. Critics are asking whether some of those incentives could instead be used to strengthen community infrastructure across the state, including public schools.

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Racine educators win key school board vote on handbook

Racine educators won a key battle Monday night when the school board voted to delay action on changes to the employee handbook until after the administration meets and confers with the elected union leadership of the district’s educators. “Great news from last night!” the Racine Education Association-Racine Educational Assistants Association declared on its Facebook page. “We take our profession seriously and we will collectively stand to make sure we have a voice in how our schools are run.”

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Legislative Update – August 4

The Foxconn special session bill (AU7 AB1) has been introduced, and Assembly Republicans held a hearing Thursday on legislation that could provide massive incentives for a planned Wisconsin plant. The Washington Post reports that the tax deal/incentives could cost the state $230,700 per worker. 

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New tax break for big-box stores could drain more money from public schools

An article published in Education Week examines how big-box stores are using “dark store theory” to reduce their property tax payments, and how that is threatening to drain more resources from our public schools. The trend – in which companies claim their stores should be assessed as if they were vacant – has become pronounced in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. The article cites the example of the impact of a Menards lawsuit on the Howard-Suamico School District north of Green Bay.

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ALEC conference continues group’s focus on undermining public schools, Rep. Chris Taylor says

State Representative Chris Taylor, a Democrat from Madison, just got back from another American Legislative Exchange Council conference, and concluded: “The issue of the moment for ALEC is public education — that is, undermining it.” … “For ALEC, it is all about tearing down our public-school infrastructure so corporate privatization efforts can move in and make a buck,” she writes in a column published by The Progressive.

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Now’s a great time to join the free NEA edCommunities!

Have you been looking for a great online community where you can collaborate with colleagues both in Wisconsin and throughout the nation? NEA edCommunities is the place for you! At NEA edCommunities, you can: Collaborate with school and community stakeholders; Join groups on specific education topics and  issues – or start your own; Share and access free, high-quality curricula and mashable resources to use as you wish to create customized learning tools; Expand your professional opportunities with virtual learning events; Improve student learning; and much more.

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