At Walker event to tout K-12 funding bill, local educators push back

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Reporters weren’t the only ones to show up for Gov. Walker’s press conference on K-12 funding in Holmen Thursday. More than a dozen local educators brought up their own points, with signs reading “All our children deserve funding every year, not just campaign years!” and “Put voucher schools to a state vote.” > La Crosse Tribune

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout: Wisconsin’s future children deserve an equal education

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Should a Wisconsin child born into a poor family, an inner-city neighborhood or a rural home, or born with a special need, face fewer opportunities in their public school? State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, a possible Dem gubernatorial candidate, says that although the answer’s no, we’re on a path that leads there. > The Cap Times

Senate working on school funding plan that could break budget stalemate

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With school funding being a sticking point in the stalled budget process, GOP senators announced they are working on a plan that could help low-spending rural school districts, as the Assembly plan aims to do, while also accommodating Walker’s target of holding the line on property taxes. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

GOP plan would disallow recurring school referendums, and roll back existing referendums in 130 districts

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Wisconsin school districts could no longer use recurring referendums to pay for ongoing expenses under a measure heard by an Assembly panel last week, instead limiting referendums to five years. The plan would also force nearly a third of Wisconsin’s school districts to roll back recurring referendums that voters passed dating back to 1996. > Wisconsin Public Radio

All students could opt out of Wisconsin tests under bill

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Students in all grades could opt out of state-mandated testing under a bill heard by a Wisconsin Assembly committee. The measure expands current law which allows parents to opt their children out of taking tests in grades 4, 8 and 9-11. The bill by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt would expand the opt-out option to grades 3-11. > FOX6 Milwaukee

Senate approves changes to private school voucher systems

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Private schools in the state’s voucher programs would need to conduct background checks before hiring staff and would no longer need to meet some academic standards under a Senate bill approved Wednesday. The Department of Public Instruction and voucher advocates support the changes, some of which were in State Superintendent Evers’ budget proposal. > Wisconsin State Journal

Lawmakers fast track multi-faceted school choice bill

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A school choice bill on a fast track in the Legislature would eliminate some accountability requirements for private schools, while also mandating they conduct the same background checks on employees as public schools, and allowing public schools that lose special-needs students to voucher schools to recoup those funds. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel