March 25, 2011
Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below.
Newborn, Infant and
Toddler Clothing Rummage Sale
Coalition for Advancing Transit Meeting
Thursday, March 31 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The Coalition for Advancing Transit is holding a meeting to discuss the future of Milwaukee transit, including how provisions in the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget will affect our community.
540 S. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Art in Bloom: A Tribute to Art and Flowers
March 31 to April 3, Exhibit Hours Vary
Enjoy exquisite floral
creations by Milwaukee’s top floral designers inspired by the Museum’s
Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
As usual, please feel
free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have
about our community or our state.
|Governor's Budget Cuts Will Limit Our Children's Educational Opportunities|
Education faces substantial cuts under the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. Governor Walker's budget will strip approximately $750 million from education statewide. These decimating cuts will not hit every community equally and are expected to be especially detrimental to children in Milwaukee and the surrounding area.
The recently-introduced budget will reduce per pupil revenue limits for public schools by 5.5 percent below that authorized for 2010-2011, which translates into an average cut of about $550 per pupil. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released an impact study earlier this month that calculated the expected loss for each school district. According to their calculations, our community schools will lose close to $190 million over the next two years. Please CLICK HERE to view a copy of DPI's impact study.
These deep cuts mean that our children will face a decreased quality of education, endure larger class sizes and may see their neighborhood school closed. Under Walker's plan, the next generation may be the first to have less opportunities than those that came before them. Many of the educational programs our children currently utilize including: Special Education, Advanced Placement (AP), Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and Alternative Education will likely be reduced or even eliminated.
I have been and will continue meeting with concerned neighbors, local government officials, agencies and advocates to discuss our community's concerns with the education provisions in this budget.
I will also keep you updated on new
developments with the budget as they unfold, and will provide
insight as to how specific provisions will impact our families and our
community as the current budget progresses through the legislative
Picture: Shaking hands with one of Wisconsin's young students
New Legislation Puts Our Children's Future in Jeopardy
The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing this past Wednesday to discuss three bills that could have severe consequences for our neighborhood schools. The three bills introduced aim to dismantle our public school system and instead follow the path towards private, for-profit education.
The first bill discussed was Senate Bill 20, which would give the Milwaukee Common Council the authority to lease or sell school buildings if they determine these buildings are being underutilized or unused.
Senate Bill 34 was the second bill taken up by the committee and would prohibit Milwaukee Public Schools from having residency requirements for teachers. Many of our neighbors made the trip to Madison to testify on the negative implications this bill would have on our community. Senate Bill 34 infringes on the right of our local government to implement policies determined to be in the best interest of our community. This legislation mirrors other bills to eliminate residency requirements for other Milwaukee municipal employees and will have a negative long-term impact on our homeowners and tax base.
Finally, the committee heard comments from Wisconsin residents on Senate Bill 22, the most contentious of the three bills. This legislation would take additional funds away from our neighborhood schools and instead give it to non-traditional schools, which have lower professional standards for their teachers and staff, and limited accountability and transparency. According to DPI, if this legislation were to pass, our community alone would lose nearly $10.8 million from our public schools.
After 10 hours of debate and discussion, it was evident that the overwhelming majority of individuals that participated in the hearing, most of whom were from our community, were adamantly opposed to all three legislative proposals.
Wisconsin has always been highly regarded for the educational opportunities we provide to all of our children. Each Wisconsin generation before us has made an investment in our state's education. Now it is time for those of us who have benefited from these past efforts to uphold this generational promise – to provide the next generation with the educational opportunities they will need to help them succeed.
To view the legislative proposals previously mentioned, please click on the links listed below:
Town Hall on Education Budget Provisions
Tuesday, March 29 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at UW-Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Caucus is holding a town hall meeting this upcoming Tuesday to discuss education-related provisions in the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. This will be the first of a number of hearings and listening sessions on the budget proposal. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for additional information.
UW-Milwaukee's Wisconsin Room
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Picture: Crowd from Monday's town hall meeting
|Reminder: Budget Memos Available Next Week|
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has indicated that informational memos for key provisions in the newly-introduced 2011-2013 Biennial Budget will be available on March 28 and can be found at that time on the LFB Web site at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/.
|Alert: Hoan Bridge Repairs Began This Week and Will Last Through November|
The Wisconsin Department of
Transportation Southeast Region in Waukesha announced this week that
work is beginning on the the Hoan Bridge and is expected to be completed
in November. The $7.4 million project will include deck and pier surface
repairs on the bridge from just south of the Carferry ramps to just
north of the Michigan Street ramps.
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