February 8, 2019
WEAC Region 3 represents public education employees in a large territory stretching from Florence to Port Washington,
and from Menominee to Washington Island.
It was a week of wild weather across Wisconsin, and now you might be wondering what’s next. With some schools facing up to five weather closings in less than two weeks, are there state regulations on how to make up time? WEAC asked the question, and here’s the answer:

“The DPI does not anticipate approving waivers for hours and minutes due to this week’s weather. Districts do have local flexibility to determine the means by which they meet the hours and minutes standards.”

State education officials report that the Wisconsin State Superintendent does not have the authority to required waive hours of instruction statewide, nor does the Wisconsin governor possess that ability – unlike the governor in Minnesota who gave a blanket waiver to all school districts. However, school boards may request a waiver from the Department of Public Instruction after a public hearing is held in the district. The DPI says it isn’t planning to waive the hours and minutes requirement through this process, however. When the state used to measure by the 180-day rule, waivers had been issued.
Samantha Kable of New London a WEAC-Badger Winner
Samantha Kable, a New London High School math and computer science teacher, is the latest WEAC-Badger Red for Public Ed winner. She received free tickets to a Badger Men’s Basketball game in Madison.
Annette Krueger nominated Samantha, saying, “This math and computer coding teacher works tirelessly to bring a great education to her students. She makes math learning fun, something that I think is very hard to do. Trust me, I did not have a fun experience when I went to school. She pays for many things out of her own pocket, and even works in summer to get kids motivated to get into computer coding by creating fun and interesting applications.”
Kable, who is in her 20th year in the New London School District and in her teaching career, said, “The reason I teach is because every day I make a difference. I am passionate about my content and sharing my love of learning. I also love showing students that lifelong learning is important as I continue my education in computer science as well. I belong to my local education association because it promotes the importance of teaching as a valuable occupation in our community.”
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. 

ETF Face-to-Face Events
2019 Schedule Updates

ETF has updated the face-to-face learning opportunities schedule for spring 2019. These include benefit fairs, benefit presentations and group retirement appointments scheduled in your area of the state.

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.
Hi all,
I've been thinking a lot about WHY lately. Why do I go to a Weight Watchers meeting and yoga classes every week? Because I want to live a healthy lifestyle, remaining active and flexible and medication-free for as long as possible. Why did I start a 21-day arm challenge? Because I want to look great in a sleeveless dress for an upcoming important family wedding.

Why do I get up in the morning and go to work? Why do I drive miles and miles to attend meetings with members? Why do I work hard to respond to hundreds of emails and phone calls?

Why? Because I believe in unions and I believe in the trans-formative power of public education. I believe that standing together with colleagues who care about public education truly makes a difference in the lives of children, and ultimately, in the lives of our communities.

What motivates you? Why do you work as a public educator? Thinking about your WHY helps you get through the dark days of winter and the chaos that snow days create in our lives. Your WHY helps you work together with your colleagues to make your workplace a happier, healthier place to be. Draw a circle like the one above if you need to. Write it down if it helps you. Focus on your WHY and you will see a positive difference in your day.
--Peace
Kathy Rohde
Region 3 Director