February 15, 2019
WEAC Region 3 represents public education employees in a large territory stretching from Florence to Port Washington,
and from Menominee to Washington Island.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 is an election day for SOME municipalities. While there is no statewide election next week, many of you may have an opportunity to vote for school board members or mayors. To check to see if you have an opportunity to VOTE, you can check My Vote Wisconsin. Just type in your address and if there's an election available for you, you can see a sample ballot.

https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
Wisconsin State Statute 118.22 governs the renewal and NON-renewal of full-time teacher contracts
 
This important deadline is approaching: 
 
For teacher contracts that a District does NOT want to renew for the 2019-20 school year, the school board must notify with a preliminary notice of non-renewal on OR before Tuesday,  April 30, 2019 .  This timeline applies regardless of the reason for non-renewal, i.e., performance, economic reasons, declining enrollment, etc. A preliminary notice of non-renewal must be voted on and issued by the school board (not an administrator).
 
Many teachers have already been given some kind of indication that the District is thinking about non-renewal. These teachers may be on a plan of improvement. For teachers under this scrutiny, the preliminary notice of non-renewal may come well before the deadline of April 30th.  Once preliminary notice of non-renewal is given to an educator, they only have five calendar days to request a hearing before the school board.

  • Union members who are fearful of a non-renewal should contact the Region 3 office as soon as possible. 
  • Union leaders and building reps who are working with teachers who may be in danger of non-renewal should contact the Region 3 office as soon as possible. 
 
Please do not wait until the preliminary notice has already been issued!
Union Dues No Longer Deductible
WEAC Region 3 has received a couple of questions regarding the deductibility of union dues. To ensure that everyone is aware of one of the changes that took place last year with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017:
 
Union dues are no longer a deductible expense for those people who itemize on their personal tax return. Below is a link to an IRS publication if people need more information.
   
Professional Development

Register for Future, Current Teacher Summit
WEAC is a proud co-sponsor of a summit for future and current teachers, March 20 at UW-Oshkosh. In addition to workshops and a competition for students, there are sessions and speakers for adult educators. Keynote speaker is Sarahi Monterrey, 2019 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year and WEAC member. Learn more and register.
Join Wisconsin educators for a weekend of Restorative Practice Training March 1-3 in Wisconsin Dells. Learn to create a framework that partners the school community in creating safe and supportive schools. 

Registration is Open for March 22-24 NEA ESP Conference in LAS VEGAS!
The NEA ESP Conference is a premier professional development opportunity for Education Support Professionals throughout the nation. Attendees will enhance their skills and knowledge in order to impact student achievement, build community relations, organize fellow union members, advocate for educators, strengthen their locals, and help colleagues do their jobs better. The conference offers dozens of workshops.
GSAFE  and  Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change (JM4C)  are pleased to present Safe Schools, Safe Communities: State Conference on LGBTQ+ Youth on Friday, March 8, 2019. This year's conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Parker High School in Janesville.
Political Action
This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members. 
Become a Public Education Advocate!
When it comes to our students and public schools, there's a lot going on. A new legislative session has begun and a new governor has taken office. WEAC is proud to introduce a new Take Action Website with resources to help you contact your legislators, track legislation and write letters to the editor. Visit WEAC Take Action.
In a free presentation February 27, Dr. Julie Mead of the UW-Madison School of Education will share research that uncovers a troubling relationship between school privatization and discrimination. Her review of relevant laws reveals that voucher and charter school programs open the door to discrimination because of three phenomena: 

  • Federal law defines discrimination differently in public and private spaces. 
  • State legislatures have largely neglected issues of discrimination while constructing voucher laws. 
  • Because private and charter schools are free to determine what programs to offer, they can attract some populations while excluding others. 

Dr. Mead will explore each of these issues and suggest recommendations for policymakers. 
Hi all,

I remember when I was teaching – the anticipation of a snow day was just as exciting for me as for the students. What to do on a snow day? Sometimes I would go to work anyway. I would blast tunes in my office to dissuade anyone from bothering me, and I would clean off my desk. What a productive time that was! Sometimes I would clean my house and do other projects I never seemed to have time for. That was productive too. Sometimes I would veg out and watch movies all day from the comfort of my living room couch. Productive? You bet! When it comes to having a clean space between the ears, vegging out is a great way to accomplish that. While Sunday, February 10 th , wasn’t a “snow day,” it was, in fact, snowing quite a bit, and instead of venturing out, I worked on projects in my home (like cutting up the pile of fabric pictured above, with the goal of making a quilt). I hope all of you have had productive snow days (and that the accumulation of snow days doesn’t create too much havoc)!

--Peace
Kathy Rohde
Region 3 Director