May 8, 2020
WEAC Region 3 represents public education employees in a large territory stretching from Florence to Port Washington,
and from Menominee to Washington Island.
Hi all-

The global pandemic has amplified the already existing problems of insufficient funding. Problems you as educators have been working around for decades. Now is the moment to demand more - public opinion of educators is through the roof! Parents are seeing firsthand how challenging it is to take on your role and it’s become common knowledge that schools are our social safety net. We educate, we care for, and we feed the whole community.

This is a moment like we’ve never seen before. We can have vision and re-imagine what school looks like in a way that benefits all students or we can be reactionary and accept what we are told to. Now is a moment to protect public education and each other. The National Education Association held a webinar earlier this week demanding $175 Billion (yes that’s billion with a B!) for Education Stabilization. This amount will stabilize our budgets, bridge the digital divide, and get people the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to do their jobs safely.

Below is action you can take to ensure we make this funding happen:
This weekend the House will be putting together CARES Act IV. It must contain a dedicated funding stream for public K-12 education. Because they are crafting the legislation this weekend, it is absolutely imperative that we flood the offices of our Wisconsin congresspersons.

Once the Bill passes the House, we will switch our attention to our Senators. 
Directions

  1. Use the websites and phone numbers listed below.
  2. Find the “contact,” “contact me,” or email button and follow directions.
  3. Ignore the request for “+4 zip code extension”; it’s not required to continue.
  4. Fill in the required fields.
  5. Type message – major points and example below.
  6. Call Congresspersons outside your district!

Major Points

  1. We want a dedicated funding stream of $175B for public education.
  2. The appropriation should be allocated using the Title I funding formula (serves neediest students and allows local autonomy in expenditures).
  3. In Wisconsin, public education is finally getting back on its feet after the 2008 recession. This is a Jobs Retention Bill. We cannot afford teacher layoffs after months of virtual education.
  4. State revenue is being decimated as businesses have shut down and thousands have become unemployed. Public education funding will be on the chopping block, by necessity, if there is no federal help! The total hit to the Wisconsin State EDUCATION Budget is estimated to be $3.6B.

Sample Message (keep it simple)

Dear Representative,
Thank you for serving Wisconsin and our country. I am asking you to please support a dedicated funding stream of $175B in the next COVID relief bill for public schools. Please distribute these funds using the Title I distribution formula, so the money gets to the children who need it the most. Thank you!

Rep. Mark Pocan
202-225-2906

Rep. Gwen Moore
202-225-4572

Rep. Ron Kind
202-225-5506

Rep. Mike Gallagher
https://gallagher.house.gov/contact             
202-225-5665

Rep. Glenn Grothman
202-225-2476

Rep. James Sensenbrenner
202-225-5101

As always, I am here to help facilitate virtual meetings, a Disrupted Learning Huddle* or whatever your local wants to do!

*For those not familiar, the Huddle is a virtual meeting space for leaders to connect to one another to share best practices as we navigate what is happening on the ground. There is also a statewide conversation happening. If you want to be a part of it, please email or call me.

In Solidarity,

Kristin Lytie, Director
Appleton Teachers on the Run for their Students!
With her laces tied up, Appleton North High School Spanish teacher Paula Meyer set out on a mission.

"I started running to my students' houses probably, well in March, because we weren't meeting in person anymore," 


Ferber Elementary teacher Kristi Otis  signed up to run a half-marathon, but the event was cancelled, so she plotted her own 13.1-mile course through her first-grade students' neighborhoods.
Even with school buildings closed for in-person instruction, Wisconsin schools have done their best to continue to provide nutritious meals to children in need. From a DPI Release: "More than 1 million meals have been provided to Wisconsin students."

NEW
EDUCATION SUPPORT PERSONNEL CONNECTION CALL
Region 3 has created an ESP Connection Call to check in with one another, keep each other in the loop and plan our next steps. This zoom meeting was organized by Sue Smits, long time ESP activist and advocate, because she recognized the need for this conversation to take place. Now more than ever ESP staff need to be in contact with each other to discuss what their districts are doing, best practices and how to implement them in your own district. The global pandemic has revealed that schools are the social safety nets for many of our communities and that those safety nets work because you do.
 
Please join us on Tuesday May 12 th  at 4 pm via zoom to participate in this important conversation.  
 
 
 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
When We Vote, We Win!

If we've learned anything from the April election, it's to be prepared. Request your mail-in ballot for the fall elections now !  
Region 3 Locals are Having Virtual Membership Meetings!
Some Locals are getting together to have virtual coffee or happy hour - just to say Hi!

Some Locals are conducting their annual Membership meeting online.

If your platform doesn't have the capacity you need, or you'd like some assistance, Region 3 Directors Dave, Kristin, and Kathy can help facilitate with Region 3's Zoom and Ring Central resources. Contact us for more info.
Join Early at No Extra Cost
When you become a member of your local association, WEAC and NEA,
by completing an early enrollment membership form, you pay nothing
until September 1 and immediately receive:

  • $1 million in coverage under the Educator Employment Liability (EEL) insurance to protect you if a student or parent sues you during the course of employment

  • Discounts and savings through NEA Member Benefits (www.neamb.com).


At the start of the school year, you will enjoy the full benefits of membership
including:

  • Representation through your local and region in employment disputes

  • Eligibility for assistance through the WEAC Legal Services Program in matters related to your employment

  • Access to the Attorney Referral Program that provides for two, free half-hour consultations with a participating attorney every year


BECOME A MEMBER TODAY
by contacting Region3@weac.org !

WEAC
NEA
WR3 Committees Looking for Members

WEAC Region 3 has three committees that are open to all members:

  • Legislative -- feed your political soul by helping plan events and member communication around elections and policy.
  • Organizing -- public relations, professional development, and member engagement is the focus -- bring your union activism to our table!
  • Budget -- if you like numbers and want to help plan where your dues dollars go, this is the place for you!

Committees meet 4-6 times a year. Participation available via video-conferencing!

Send inquiries and interest to our mailbox:  region3@weac.org
Student loan debt and the federal CARES Act
The federal CARES Act includes temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers. WEAC/NEA is here to help members figure out what this means to you and how to access relief. Read more .
You are Invited!
WR3's ALL-MEMBER
Weekly Virtual Gathering
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
4:30 - 5:30 pm

Please note that you need to PRE-Register for the meeting by clicking on the link above. Then an email will be sent to you with the login link.
We are doing our best to Zoombomb-proof our meeting!

Agenda:
1) Latest updates on school closings.
2) Time for sharing! What's going on in your area?


We look forward to SEEING you!
It's a good idea to log in a few minutes early
to get the audio and video working on your device.
Region 3 has added a COVID-19 INFO tab at the top of our webpage: https://region3.weac.org/

Clicking on that tab gives you access to a Google Drive with all kinds of updated information. We have posted a document with links and resources, recordings of virtual gatherings, an Excel version of our survey data, and more.
WEAC
2020 WEAC Representative Assembly - Saturday, May 23 - Via Zoom Video Conference Call

T he 2020 WEAC Rep Assembly is being held via Zoom conference call on Saturday, May 23. The Zoom meeting will start at 10:00 a.m. The RA agenda and Standing Rules, along with other information, can be found at www.weac.org/ra . We will continue to post items as necessary. See the WEAC RA page for more information.
If you have a question about other meetings, check WEAC's webpage:
WEAC is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members and the students they serve and will continue to provide resources and support as they become available.