Dear Friends,

Congratulations again to our Milwaukee Bucks!

Not only are they World Champions, this week they hired Lisa Byington as their new television play-by-play announcer. Lisa will be the first woman to serve in that capacity for a major men's professional sports team. I can't wait to watch her and the Bucks next season! Also, congratulations to Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo on the birth of his second son!

As you may know, I used to be a teacher, and improving our education system is incredibly important to me. This week, my committee met and heard important reform bills that will make districts more accountable to taxpayers and improve how we teach our kids. You can read more about that below.

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Reforming Education
On Thursday, I chaired the Senate Committee on Education and heard some important reforms that I support.

Senate Bill 373, which I co-authored with Senator Mary Felzkowski of Irma, will help the public better track their school district's funding and spending. Not do our schools receive millions from the state, but they will be getting millions in COVID-19 funding. All financial information for schools would be on the Department of Public Instruction's website in an easy-to-understand format. This data already exists, so posting it won't cost our schools any additional money.

Senate Bill 431, which I co-authored with Senator Joan Ballweg of Markesan, will bring back teaching cursive writing in our schools. Many schools stopped teaching this important life skill. Not only is cursive writing important to learn history, but it also develops the brain, and improves hand-eye coordination and spelling. I believe it is important to bring the teaching of cursive writing back into our schools.

Also on Thursday, the Assembly Committee on Education held a public hearing on my bill. Assembly Bill 561. Our bill will better track how many students are failing courses. Before the pandemic, too many of our schoolchildren were failing classes. We know it's likely getting worse and many districts loosened grading standards. This bill will help gather important information to help students succeed in school.

It's my hope these important reforms are voted on soon.
Protecting Newborns
On Thursday, I voted for a bill that will protect the lives of newborn babies. As a mother and grandmother, I believe it's critical to protect children.

However, recently states like New York and Virginia have passed laws that don't respect human life and allowed newborn children to be terminated. No matter a child's circumstance, they deserve the same rights and protections that you and I do.

I'm proud to support protecting children and look forward to this bill advancing in the State Senate.
Vote For the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin
Wisconsin workers make a lot of amazing things and our area makes some of the coolest things in the state. Now you can help put our companies over the top.

It's time again for the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce contest of the Coolest Things made in our state. Four area companies are in the running: MBA Industrial Bearings in Grafton, Power Test Inc. in Sussex, Sprecher Brewing in Glendale, and Stone House Water Technology in Brown Deer.

By clicking on the picture above, you can help decide what is the coolest thing made in Wisconsin!
Road Construction Update
Help a Student in Need
One in three students in Milwaukee is living in poverty. You can help them have a successful school year. The Milwaukee Rescue Mission is raising funds to get kids the supplies they need. Click on the picture for more information.
The Afghanistan Crisis - How to Help
I am saddened by the disastrous events in Afghanistan. As you may know, many refugees were airlifted to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Here are a few ways you can help.

The American Red Cross has more than 50 personnel on the ground at Fort McCoy to provide critical care and help to Afghan refugees. Your financial gifts will help the American Red Cross continue to fund efforts to help the people affected by this crisis.

Team Rubicon partnered with the American Red Cross to coordinate local volunteers and donors throughout the Wisconsin community. More information about Team Rubicon and how to volunteer is available here.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, launched a campaign to provide assistance. They are accepting donations at 3710 East Avenue South in La Crosse, and they have a gift registry set up through Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile allows donors to purchase needed items and have them shipped directly.
Please Donate Blood, Plasma
One way you can help is by donating blood. If you have recovered from COVID-19, please especially consider donating your plasma.

You can find out where to donate here and here.
COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Information
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