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July 19, 2016
 
In This Issue:

Early Voting Starts July 25
Get a Free Financial Consultation July 27
WEAC Summer Leadership Academy: It's Not Too Late
Wisconsin Public Education Network Summit is Aug. 23
Upcoming Events
They Hear Us

The Republican National Convention is underway, and I urge you to tune in and listen to the latest proposals for closing and privatizing public schools. It is hard to keep up, and the Convention does us the favor of putting all of the crazy new schemes in one place.
 
Meanwhile, the recent National Democratic Party platform deliberations showed public education advocates like us that our voices have been heard. For many years, key Democrats and appointees such as former Education Secretary Arne Duncan have backed a corporate education "reform" agenda to the detriment of the students at Oregon High School, where I teach, and at most other schools where WEAC Region 6 members work. The corporate agenda emphasizes standardized tests, charter schools, school privatization and so-called "merit pay."
 
A few weeks ago, at the urging of you, me and public educators and advocates throughout the United States, the Democrats have revised the party platform to back the right of parents to opt their children out of high-stakes standardized tests, limit support for charter schools, and clearly oppose the use of standardized test scores for high-stakes purposes such as evaluating teachers and passing or failing students.
 
This is real progress, and it is important in and of itself. It is also important because it shows how effective we can be when we speak with one voice and don't back down. Any regular reader of my columns and blog posts knows how strongly I feel about these issues-and how often I bring them up. I am not alone.
 
If you feel strongly about these issues, the best way to have your voice amplified is by working with your union and further connecting yourself to the advocacy efforts we have underway. One way you can do this immediately is to go to the Take Action section of the WEAC.org website, where there are great resources that make it easier for you to write to your elected officials and local newspapers.
 
I invite you to join the conversations we are participating in and trying to initiate at WEAC Region 6. Reach out to your local leaders or contact the Region 6 office today. You can email me at region6.weac.wi@gmail.com or call the office at 1-800-397-2287. We can celebrate this victory by building on it.
 
In Solidarity,

Mark Lindsey
President of WEAC Region 6
Early Voting Starts July 25

Early voting for the August 9, 2016 partisan primary election starts July 25. Information about where and how you can vote early is available on the State of Wisconsin Elections Commission website. In-person early voting ends August 5.
 
WEAC Region 6 members screened legislative candidates in their part of the state and the WEAC Political Action Committee is recommending Don Vruwink and Jimmy Anderson in the Democratic primaries in Assembly Districts 43 and 47, respectively.  You can find more information and voting resources in the Members Only section of the WEAC.org website.  
 
Voters will be required to show photo IDs during the primary and general elections. The Wisconsin League of Women Voters has compiled a list of acceptable forms of ID for voting.
Free July 27 Financial Consultations are Only for Region 6 Members

It is not too late to register for a July 27 free WEA Member Benefits individual financial consultation
Sign up now for a free 30-minute consultation with a certified financial planner who can answer questions about a wide range of financial topics, including:
  • Reasons to start a 403(b) or IRA savings account and how to enroll
  • Wisconsin Retirement System basics (Bring your WRS statement)
  • Retirement Savings strategies; Pre-tax vs. Roth, 403(b) vs. IRA
  • Investment/Account Fees
  • Budgeting
  • Tips for purchasing personal insurance
WEA Member Benefits worksite benefit consultants do not work for a commission. Their only goal is to help members improve their financial situations.
 
The July 27 sessions are only for WEAC Region 6 members and will be scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WEAC Region 6 office, 33 Nob Hill Road, Madison.
Deadline to Register for WEAC Summer Leadership Academy is July 22

The August 7-10 WEAC Summer Leadership Academy is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from throughout the state and acquire skills and information that will help your students, your career and your union. Registration is open until July 22 for all Region 6 members.

The Summer Leadership Academy empowers local leaders and activists in their work with members, the community, administration, elected leaders and the students they serve. Region 6 members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to sign up a team of leaders. Housing, food and transportation expenses are covered by WEAC. 
 
For more information email or call WEAC's Dianne Hellenbrand or 1-800-362-8034, extension 216. 
Wisconsin Public Education Network Summit is August 23

WEAC Region 6 members are invited to attend the Wisconsin Public Education Network Summit in Wauwatosa on August 23. This is an opportunity to learn more about the issues facing our students and schools, and how you can be a part of the growing movement to support our public schools and students.
               
The summit will be a full day of workshops, presentations and strategy breakouts led by public education advocates and experts, including Rev. Dr. William Barber II, John and Tashia Morgridge, and Dr. Tony Evers, Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction. Sessions will cover issues relating to school funding, advocating for schools that provide opportunity and access for all students, nonpartisan organizing, local and legislative advocacy to support local schools, and many other topics.
Upcoming Events

Region 6 Executive Committee and Staff Retreat, WEA Member Benefits Building, Madison
July 25-26

Free Individual Financial Consultations for WEAC Region 6 Members, Region 6 Office, Madison
July 27 


Wisconsin Public Education Network Summit, Wauwatosa
August 23