Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

February 29, 2012

MATC Is Under Attack From Republicans

Filed under: Grothman,Republicans,Wisconsin Class Warfare — millerlf @ 12:36 pm

Last week a Wisconsin senate committee passed SB 275 that will remove all nine members of the MATC district board and replace them with a board selected by a new, less democratic and representative appointment committee composed of the Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee County Executives and the Milwaukee County Board Chair.

The bill is an outrageous power play by Republican politicians who have never supported MATC or its students and who slashed their funding by 30% last year. It was bottled up in committee until it was amended to be exclusively about MATC.

There was no public hearing on the bill. Nor did its authors, Senator Glen Grothman (R) and State Representative Mark Honadel (R)  discuss the proposal with the MATC board chair, Melanie Holmes, MATC’s President Dr. Michael Burke or the appointment committee chair, Dr. Michael Bonds.

The bill eliminates the current board including all four minority members, none of whom are even eligible to reapply under the new criteria established by the bill.

The proposal gives Washington County 25% of the board appointment committee’s authority even though only 2.4% of MATC’s students come from Washington County and its investment in the college, 4.3% of total funding, is minimal.

Ozaukee County which provides the college with 14.4% of its funding will also be empowered with 25% of the board appointment authority. So, two counties that provide MATC with 18.7% of its funding will control 50% of the appointment authority, while the city of Milwaukee home to 57% of our students gets no representation.  And Milwaukee County which contributes 84% of our funding gets only 50% of the appointment authority.

The bill destroys the college’s historic commitment to shared governance by eliminating the employee representative seats on the board.

The legislation was clearly designed to remove particular board members, including attorney Peter Earle, the lead attorney challenging the manipulative Republican redistricting maps that were developed in secret and in probable violation of the United States Constitution; Ann Wilson, who directs a non-profit agency; and Alderman Tom Michalski of Oak Creek.

Lauren Baker, the Director of Career and Technical Education for the Milwaukee Public Schools, will also be removed despite being featured in the latest issue of the Milwaukee Business Journal for being a great bridge between industry and education. Fred Royal, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Technical College Board’s Association would also be dismissed.

This bill is an assault on the democratic process and on the college. If passed, the governing body of the college will be people with no experience or knowledge of the college or its students. That’s like putting someone with no flying experience in the cockpit of a transatlantic flight!

Why is the board being dismissed?

MATC, unlike the state of Wisconsin, has been a model of fiscal responsibility, maintaining its AA1 bond rating while the state’s was reduced. MATC has a reserve find of 22%. The state barely has one. MATC’s costs per student are the state’s average despite running 25% more programs than any other technical college. This is nothing more than a power play by power hungry politicians that will hurt our students.

You can help stop this bill by calling your state representative and politely urging them to kill this bill.

If you don’t know your state representative’s contact information you can find it here:

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

For more information on the bill see: http://districtboards.org/advocacy/SB275advances022412.pdfthat

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April 26, 2011

Wisconsin State Senator Glen Grothman Says K4 Early Childhood Education “…can have harmful psychological effects…”

Filed under: Grothman,Right Wing Agenda,Tea Party — millerlf @ 11:34 am

(See more of Grothman, speaking at a tea party rally last year at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BincmtWINMs)

State ranks 6th in prekindergarten access

By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel April 26, 2011

Wisconsin receives a positive review in a national report released Tuesday that explores children’s access to high-quality, state-funded prekindergarten programs, coming in sixth in the country in terms of the percentage of youngsters served.

But state-level funding nationwide for 3- and 4-year-old prekindergarten programs has dropped as a result of the recession, and most states are struggling to maintain what they have rather than raise the number and quality of programs that can pay dividends later in the student’s educational career, the report says.

One Wisconsin lawmaker objects to the report’s positive spin on early childhood education and contends that public schools should stop adding new 4-year-old kindergarten programs because they’re ineffective and a drain on state resources.

“As Wisconsin has added more 4-year-old kindergartens, our fourth-grade reading scores have plummeted,” Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) said in an interview Monday. “I think early education, like any preschool program, can have harmful psychological effects, and any academic benefit disappears by the time one is 9 or 10.”

That’s in stark contrast to the opinions of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who said Monday he couldn’t support states cutting back on early childhood education. He made the remarks during a conference call with reporters about “The State of Preschool 2010,” an annual report from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.

“When budgets are cut, there are smart ways to cut and dumb ways to cut,” Duncan said, adding that reducing early childhood education funding fell into the latter category. “Our 3- and 4-year-olds don’t vote, they don’t have lobbyists and they aren’t in a union. Research shows this is the best investment we can make that will pay dividends later on.”

About 85% of Wisconsin school districts offer publicly funded 4-year-old kindergarten as an option for parents. Districts have steadily added programs in recent years. The second-largest district in the state, the Madison Metropolitan School District, is poised to offer 4K this coming fall.

District spokesman Ken Syke said the district has been trying for about a decade to adopt 4K because research shows those programs help students prepare for full-day kindergarten, especially students from low-income families. He said the expense of the program – school districts pay the majority of the costs to start the program, with the state fully funding the program in later years – has kept them from adding it sooner.

“It’s been a combination of the expense of it and trying to implement it correctly – working in partnership with local child care and education centers,” he said. “So that’s taken a bit of time. But the biggest factor has been the financial resource.”

According to the report:

• Slightly over half of Wisconsin’s 4-year-olds and 1.1% of its 3-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded prekindergarten program in 2009-’10. That’s sixth highest in the country in terms of access.

• From the 2001-’02 school year to last school year, Wisconsin saw 4K enrollment increase by 171.9%. From 2008-’09 to 2009-’10, 4K enrollment increased by 6%.

• State per-child spending in Wisconsin on prekindergarten programs increased by about $100 between 2008- ’09 and 2009-’10, bucking a trend nationwide in which spending on average declined per student in prekindergarten programs. All reported spending per child in Wisconsin prekindergarten programs totaled just under $5,000 in 2009-’10, putting Wisconsin 19th out of the 40 states that offer such programs.

• Wisconsin met five of 10 quality benchmarks in its 4K program. It met having early learning standards, requiring teachers to have degrees and licenses, requiring teacher training and having a process in place for monitoring sites. It failed to meet the following standards: assistant teachers should have a degree, class sizes should have 20 or fewer students, staff-child ratios should be 1 to 10 or better, and sites should offer at least one meal per day.

Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, said that not all the benchmarks are equally important. For example, he said Wisconsin leaves issues such as maximum class size and student-to-teacher ratios up to local discretion, meaning programs offered in individual districts may meet that standard.

“What we worry about is that school districts with the least resources might make the worst decisions for the most disadvantaged kids,” Barnett said. “We don’t have any way of knowing. That’s really the key for states in the middle (on meeting quality benchmarks).”

Barnett also said that a number of states are proposing additional cuts to state funding for early education programs. He said in states like Wisconsin, it’s going to be important for lawmakers to heed Duncan’s call to preserve programs that help kids in their earliest years.

The report that Barnett’s group released includes references to nine research studies in 10 states that find short- and long-term benefits of state-sponsored prekindergarten programs on children’s learning and development.

Grothman says those effects die out by fourth grade.

He said that in Oklahoma, which has the highest percentage of children enrolled in state-funded 4-year-old kindergarten in the country, fourth-grade reading scores were higher than the national average before adopting universal prekindergarten, and lower than the national average after implementation of the program.

He questioned the motives behind the institute at Rutgers, which is a part of the Graduate School of Education. He said education schools support prekindergarten because it means more jobs will be available for their graduates.

March 3, 2011

Must See Video of Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman Speaking at Tea Party Event

Filed under: Grothman,Scott Walker,Tea Party — millerlf @ 8:51 am

This is the same Senator Glenn Grothman who said “We cannot continue to have all these slobs in the Capitol building…many are unemployed people looking for somewhere to hang out.”

Senator Glenn Grothman is Assistant Majority Leader (R) in the Wisconsin State Senate. He is a member of the Joint Finance Committee and the Senate Education Committee. He represents and lives in West Bend at 151 University Drive 312 N, West Bend, WI 53095 (Phone # (800) 662-1227 or (262) 338-8061)

He is a Tea Party activist and playing a leading role in the present attack on Wisconsin working families.

The following video gives you a sense of the false views of Grothman. In the video he says America will be destroyed from within. Why?

1.       He says Milwaukee women have incentives to choose welfare over marriage because he claims they can receive over $38,000 in entitlements plus have access to a free college.

2.       Government bureaucrats are forcing quotas on all companies to hire women and people of color.

3.       There is a war on men.

To see the 5 minute video go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BincmtWINMs

Please pass this video on to all Wisconsinites to see the diatribes of one of our state “leaders.”

March 1, 2011

More Attacks from Wisconsin Republicans Proposed

Filed under: Grothman,Right Wing Agenda,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 2:19 pm

A breakdown of GOP bills: What else are Republicans up to?

STEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times | Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to effectively end collective bargaining by public workers has sparked massive protests and riveted the nation. But what else have state Republicans been up to? Bills have been coming down the pike that would add to union woes, make it harder to vote at the polls and allow charter schools to proliferate. And Republicans haven’t even gotten to the social issues yet.

Perhaps the most controversial bills introduced during the regular legislative session have been proposals in the Assembly and the Senate to require voters to produce a photo ID from the state Department of Transportation when arriving at the polls, a move that critics say will stifle tens of thousands of votes, mostly those of Democratic-leaning groups like students, the elderly and the poor.

Here’s a partial rundown of other GOP legislation introduced in recent days:

• On Jan. 21, Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, proposed scaling back the state’s family and medical leave law, signed in 1998 by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson. The proposal would make it harder to qualify for medical and family leave by making state law on the matter closer to federal law. A separate bill proposed by Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, on Feb. 23 would apply the state’s family and medical leave policy statewide, which means that localities could not adopt policies of their own. Dana Schultz of 9to5 Milwaukee, part of a nationwide working women’s advocacy association, says the law would pre-empt Milwaukee’s paid sick leave law, which passed by referendum in 2008 but has been held up by a court challenge.

• On Feb. 4, Rep. Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, introduced a bill to rescind a 2009 law that requires law enforcement officers to record the race of those they pull over. The law’s intent is to gather data to see if racial profiling is taking place. Berneir’s bill would also eliminate a law that requires officers to attend training designed to prevent racial profiling and race-based discrimination.

• On Feb. 17, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rep. Erik Severson, R-Osceola, introduced a bill that would rescind a new Department of Natural Resources mandate that public drinking water be disinfected to remove microscopic pathogens. About 12 percent of the state’s municipal water supply systems would have been affected by the rule. A recent study has shown that about 13 percent of acute gastrointestinal ailments in areas that don’t disinfect are connected to the municipal water.

• On Feb. 22, Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, proposed a bill to repeal a law passed by the previous, Democratic-led Legislature that allows school district residents to challenge race-based mascot names. Nass’ proposal would eliminate the authority of the state superintendent of schools to determine whether a team nickname, logo or mascot promotes discrimination, pupil harassment or stereotyping, and to order a school board to eliminate the use of the offending moniker. The bill would also void previous decisions based on complaints about mascot names, typically those related to American Indians. Last year, the Osseo-Fairchild, Kewaunee and Mukwonago school districts were ordered to drop names and logos.

• On Feb. 22, Rep. Robin Vos, R-Burlington, introduced a bill that would allow universities to determine which bargaining unit to assign employees to, a decision currently made by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. Coupled with Walker’s budget repair bill, which would rescind a 2009 law that allows university faculty and academic staff to join unions, Vos’ bill would allow universities to assign staff to nonclassified positions so they can’t organize. So far, faculties at UW-Superior, UW-Eau Claire and, just last week, UW-La Crosse, have voted to unionize.

• On Feb. 23, Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, introduced a bill that would create a Charter School Authorizing Board. The entity could authorize charter schools independently of school districts, which currently is not permitted except in certain circumstances in Milwaukee. The bill would also eliminate caps on the amount of money the state can take from general school aid to fund charter schools. Critics see the move as a giant step toward privatizing education in the state.

• On Feb. 23, Rep. John Murtha, R-Baldwin, introduced a bill to give $1,000 income tax deductions to state-accredited college or university graduates for the first five years after graduation. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has not yet put a cost estimate on the bill, but a similar proposal introduced last year was estimated to cost $5.4 million.

• On Feb. 24, Rep. Andre Jacque, R-Bellevue, introduced a bill that would eliminate the state’s farmland preservation program, a 2009 initiative by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle to stem losses of farmland to urban sprawl. The bill would eliminate state funds for buying agricultural conservation land and also the fee for developing land in a farmland preservation district.

• On Feb. 24, Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, proposed legislation to repeal 2009 legislation that authorized the creation of regional transit authorities, which have the power to operate and impose sales taxes to run regional transportation systems. RTAs currently operate in Dane County as well as the Chippewa Valley and Chequamegon Bay areas in northern Wisconsin. The bill also would eliminate the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, which aimed to establish a commuter rail line connecting Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee.

February 21, 2011

Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman Introduced Legislation Today to Significantly Weaken Discrimination Lawsuits

Filed under: Grothman,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 5:02 pm

TO:             All Legislators

FROM:   State Senator Glenn Grothman

DATE:           February 21, 2011

DEADLINE:       Tuesday, March 1

RE:             Co-Sponsorship of LRB 0322:  protecting Wisconsin businesses from frivolous discrimination lawsuits

2009 Act 20 created a lengthy, complex, and unnecessary new set of procedures that put Wisconsin businesses at greater risk for frivolous lawsuits:

    • Federal anti-discrimination laws already allow federal courts to impose punitive damages;
    • The procedures established by 2009 Act 20 create a whole new round of litigation, making the process even longer and more expensive;
    • This redundant and lengthy state process opens Wisconsin businesses up to expensive and job-killing lawsuits.

Therefore, I am introducing lrb 0322, repealing these provisions.

If you are interested in co-sponsoring LRB 0322 please call Lance in Senator Grothman’s office at 266-7513 by Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Under the current fair employment law, a person alleging discrimination in

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Must See Video of Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman Speaking at Tea Party Event

Filed under: Grothman,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 2:04 pm

Senator Glenn Grothman is Assistant Majority Leader (R) in the Wisconsin State Senate. He is a member of the Joint Finance Committee and the Senate Education Committee.

He is a Tea Party activist and playing a leading role in the present attack on Wisconsin working families.

The following video gives you a sense of the false views of Grothman. In the video he says America will be destroyed from within. Why?

1.       He says Milwaukee women have incentives to choose welfare over marriage because he claims they can receive over $38,000 in entitlements plus have access to a free college.

2.       Government bureaucrats are forcing quotas on all companies to hire women and people of color.

3.       There is a war on men.

To see the 5 minute video go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BincmtWINMs

Please pass this video on to all Wisconsinites to see the diatribes of one of our state “leaders.”

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