WEAC and AFT-Wisconsin presidents join Democrats in blasting Walker’s latest TV ad and DeVos’ visit to state

WEAC President Ron Martin joined the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Tuesday in a media call in response to visits from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to the state. “I’m an eighth grade social studies teacher who has a long career dedicated to students,” Martin said. “It’s unbelievable that Betsy DeVos, who has dedicated her life to dismantling public schools, would show up in Wisconsin for a photo op. In Wisconsin, we believe all children have a right to a top-notch public education. Betsy DeVos doesn’t share that vision with us. Secretary DeVos, President Trump, Scott Walker – they’re all politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Photo stunts and millions of dollars of slick ads won’t change that fact.” 

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DPI announces mental health grants, says much more is needed

The Department of Public Instruction on Monday announced a series of new grants totaling $3.2 million for mental health services in schools, but State Superintendent Tony Evers and advocacy groups said much more is needed. “In a given year, one in five students faces a mental health issue, with more than 80 percent of incidents going untreated,” Evers said. “Those students who do get help, more often than not, receive it through their school.”

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‘Dear first-year teachers’: Listen to great advice from these veteran educators

In this short video, veteran educators provide valuable – and inspirational – advice for first-year teachers who are about to enter the classroom, starting with “Welcome to the best profession EVER.” … “There’s so much that you’re not going to be prepared for, and that’s OK!” … “Believe in yourself and believe in the impact that you bring to your class and to your students every day.” … “Find an amazing teacher to mentor you. No one gets through this alone.” … “If you hang around positive teachers in the school building, you’re going to be a positive first-year teacher.” … And finally, they all agree, “You got this!”

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‘Local activism around public education may just transform Wisconsin’s political culture’

The Progressive Magazine this summer took a close look at the history of Governor Walker’s attacks on public schools, educators and students. In an article that recounts the devastating impact of the Act 10 law that undermined collective bargaining, as well as deep cuts to state funding of public schools, author Jennifer C. Berkshire finds reason for optimism in a state known for its fighting spirit and strong support for public schools. “But there is another, more hopeful story to be told about Wisconsin, seven years after Walker officially kicked off his war on labor,” Berkshire writes. “It involves parents and teachers and local grassroots activists coming together to fight for the public schools in their communities.”

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