DAILY WISCONSIN

Schools

School referenda on the ballot

We’ll see if this trend of large amounts of school referenda in recent years starts to fade with both the aid increases, and because of a provision in the state budget that limits schools to 2 referendum questions a year, and limits the dates those referenda can take place. But the continued large amount of referenda (66 questions on Tuesday) shows that one pre-election bump by the Governor hasn’t come close to filling in the gaps of 6 prior years of state cuts to K-12 education and limits on property taxes to make up the difference.

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: The other big item on tomorrow’s ballot- school referenda.

‘Carcass on Roadside’

After 7 years of Scott Walker, the collapse of our state colleges has now begun:

Chancellor Bernie Patterson said UWSP is facing a “perfect storm” caused by declining enrollment, 15 years of state budget cuts, and the state imposed tuition freeze.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students held a sit-in in front of the chancellor’s office on to protest the planned elimination of academic majors in the humanities (like) American studies, art, English, French, German, Spanish, philosophy, political science, history, geography, geoscience, music literature and sociology. The cuts come as the school faces a $4.5 million structural deficit.

Via DemoCurmudgeon: Republicans leave Wisconsin’s Hollowed Out Education Carcass on Roadside.

More

The district wants $32.7 million NOW to spend on a laundry list of items and a tax increase FOREVER to spend on whatever they can think of. Both of these referenda are ridiculous, but the one to permanently increase taxes above the state limit is downright offensive. But as West Bend begins the search for a new superintendent, it’s worth taking note of what’s going on in Menomonee Falls.

Via Consistent Performance in Menomonee Falls @ Boots & Sabers.

Red

Wisconsin has truly become a red state, not for elections, but for its college graduates. As recently as a decade ago this was a state where college graduates had a lower average level of debt. Not any more.From 2004 to 2014 the average debt of college grads in Wisconsin soared, rising from $16,560 to $28,810. That was a jump of 74 percent, a bigger hike than all but six states. Wisconsin now ranks higher than all but two states in the proportion of students — 70 percent — with debts.

Via Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin Student Debt Is Soaring @ Urban Milwaukee.

Gaps

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report comes from reporter Abby Becker. She talked to students of color who expressed discomfort in majority white schools. She also compared test scores between the different groups.

Nationalized

“You’ve heard it before; Republican Governors say they want to replace Common Core with a unique statewide educational policy. Local, local, local!!! Except when they don’t. Are ready for another right wing lie? What does a supposed Wisconsin “centered” curriculum really looks like under conservative authority rule: WSJ: A 6-year-old student went to school at…

WISGOP Rep. Kremer’s Bill

Most alarming about Rep. Kremer’s original bill is that he didn’t even ask members of the transgender community for input when he wrote it. His response to his bill possibly being perceived as “mean-spirited” also resulted in a “blame the victim” rant.

If [transgender students] really are concerned about this and they do identify as someone else, I don’t see why they’d like to make a big stink about it. If you’re making a big deal about it …you obviously are inviting harassment and bullying already. Why would you not want to avoid that and go quietly to the district and make other arrangements?

Emphasis in bold added.

Via A better way forward for transgender students @ Political Heat.

WISGOP Rep. Kremer’s Bill on Transgender Students

Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) seems to believe that accommodations to transgender students represents a considerable threat to their peers. His fears are greatly misplaced.

Kremer is proposing a bill that would limit the rights of local school districts to grant transgender students the dignity to use restrooms that correspond to the gender they identify with. The lawmaker apparently disregards gender identity and is more preoccupied with anatomy to care about what’s best for students overall….

His words towards those students are especially alarming. (Emphasis in bold added)

I don’t see why they’d [transgender students] like to make a big stink about it. If you’re making a big deal about it … you obviously are inviting harassment and bullying already.

Bullying and mistreatment of transgender students, it seems to Kremer, is the fault of those students themselves.

Via School restrooms bill is derived from ignorance and misinformation @ Political Heat.

Hypnosis Settlement

The principal seems to have been trying to help students (and staff member) deal with various psychological problems through hypnosis, and delivered his services to “at least 75 people at the school.” The students died through suicide (in 2 cases, both by hanging) and a car accident (in which the young man reportedly had “a strange look on his face” before going off the interstate).

I can’t figure out what the cause and effect was, but the school district chose to pay rather than to fight over it.

Via “School District to Pay $600,000 Over Death of Teens Who Were Hypnotized by Principal” @ Althouse.