Shankland "Reaching Higher for Higher Education" with new bills


  • Dec 8, 2023 


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — Finding enough teachers to staff schools is a problem in Wisconsin and one of the major reasons for that is the cost of getting a degree.

Wisconsin State Representatives Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire) introduced their "Reaching Higher for Higher Education" legislative package on Tuesday that aims to change that.

One of the key areas addressed is student teaching costs which is something University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP) students, Shankland said, have asked her about.

"It's a difficult financial burden when you're working full time as a student teacher, you don't really have the opportunity to pick up additional hours at a different job where you get paid, so to have to pay for tuition on top of that is really difficult," said Shankland.

If the package passes, undergraduate UW students would have their academic fees for student teaching semesters remitted.

In order to account for inflation and rising costs, there is also aid that would be allocated to UW System and Wisconsin Technical College schools.

Not to mention, a tuition freeze at UW schools that would come at a time when classes are filling up fast and additional semesters may be needed to complete all graduation requirements.

Ultimately, the bills would work in tandem to help produce more skilled workers coming out of higher education to counter the current workforce shortage.