News and Information for Education Professionals

Bryor Hellmann, Boyceville

Tasha Kobielush, Rice Lake


Dear Members,
At the time of this writing, we are completing what is hoped to be the last storm of the season. Clocks have just sprung forward and that is another sign that we are going to make it through one of the snowiest winters in history. Now we can move forward with the work of the Representative Assembly. Our WEAC leadership has been collecting information for over three years and written a "report" with the findings of our officers and research they have done. Much of the research has come from visiting locals, asking members for input, to put together a plan to move WEAC forward with our new set of goals to drive our future. This report was shared at our last Board of Directors meeting and will be shared at the RA on April 27th in Oshkosh. If you'd like to read this document ahead of time please contact our office and Ali would gladly email this out to you. It has been posted on our Ed Communities for all Presidents of each local to pull up and share.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council

The Wisconsin Education Association Council is committed to making a difference for the common good through advocacy, collaboration, professionalism, social justice, and economic security.

Our Core Values

Advocacy: We believe public educators along with families and communities have the expertise to ensure that all students receive a high-quality public education. As education professionals, we believe all students are entitled to a high-quality public education that promotes and advocates for democracy, equity, social justice, just workplaces, and economic security across all communities. 
Collaboration:  We believe the common good is achieved through partnerships between, and within, labor, business, government, community organizations, and educational systems. We believe when we work together to provide high-quality public education through best practices we can unify communities for the benefit of all.

Professionalism: We believe student-centered decision making should be at the heart of all educational systems. All education professionals must be included in decision-making processes as we are best equipped to determine what is most appropriate for students and the profession. We believe all educators should be treated with respect, meet high quality professional standards, have access to relevant professional development, mentorship and support, and be evaluated through a growth model.
Social Justice:  We believe equal access to a high-quality public education is a human and civil right and is fundamental to our democracy.  As education professionals, we believe all educational systems should be inclusive, where the individual rights of all are respected and where the cultural values and contributions of all segments of the community are valued and honored.
Economic Security: We believe that quality of life throughout our communities in Wisconsin depends upon a living wage for all, fair labor practices, affordable access to high-quality healthcare, paid leave, fully-funded pension and retirement, and a fairly and equitably funded public education system for students of all ages.

Our Mission

The members of the Wisconsin Education Association Council advocate for great public education for the common good.

Our Vision

Public educators are respected partners in developing an innovative and responsive educational system within each community that creates caring and responsible citizens of a global society.
Congratulations and best wishes to WEAC Region 1 Education Support Professionals Program Director Tammy Erickson (Glenwood City), Wisconsin ESP of the Year and now candidate for NEA ESP of the Year, as she attends the National ESP Conference this coming week!

As passed in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, union dues are no longer a deductible expense for people who itemize on their personal tax return.

You can find more information in this IRS publication.

* Upcoming Events *
Ongoing Statewide Professional Development Calendar Available (including NBCT Renewal Workshop)


We highly recommend checking out this calendar if you haven't done so yet!

Region 1 Board of Directors Meeting
March 20
6:30 pm
Rice Lake Office & Zoom
16 W John St

Retirement Planning 101
April 3
6:00 pm
Sawmill Saloon, Seeley
13505 N U.S. Highway 63

Social Media in the Work Environment
A Legal Perspective on Your Rights
April 17
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Webinar Only

Violent Students and Your Rights
April 30
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Webinar Only

WEAC Region 1 Well-Represented in the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2019 Teacher Fellows List

Congratulations to Region 1 members:

Rebecca Omtvedt, Lake Holcombe
John Thiel, Altoona
Deb Bell, Boyceville
Jennifer Clemins, St. Croix Falls
Suzanne Imhoff, St. Croix Falls
Lorie Erickson, Bayfield

Region 1 Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

Each year WEAC Region 1 awards two $500 scholarships to children of Region 1 members who are graduating and attending post-secondary education in the fall of 2019. Priority is given to those entering the field of education, but selection is also based on other factors, including academics and school/community involvement.

To download an application, CLICK HERE

April 2nd Spring Election Menomonie District School Board Recommendations

Following the endorsement process,  the following candidates for school board for the School District of the Menomonie Area are recommended:  

Chris Freeman
Nell Johnson
Bayard Godsave

Each of these three candidates have strong education backgrounds and have prioritized putting the needs of students first. Specifically, the candidates discussed goals that include inclusive curriculum and opportunities, a strong focus on the arts, advocacy for mental health initiatives, and implementing measures to engage all stakeholders. The interview committee sees the above candidates as progressive voices that will guide the school district in a positive direction.  

More from the 2019 Learning & Growing Conference!
New Educator Roundtable Discussion led by WEAC President Martin.
WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen addresses participants during Saturday's lunch.


Non-Renewal Basics

In Wisconsin, non-renewal of any person who holds a teaching certificate that is required to perform the job must follow the procedure as found in WI ยง 118.22. With the elimination of the right to collectively bargained lay-off procedures, non-renewal is now also used for staff reductions (including reduction of positions to part time) for economic reasons. It is important to note that the statute applies only to full-time positions.
  • Preliminary notice of non-renewal must be given by the board by April 30
  • Teachers have five (5) days in which to request a private conference with the board
  • Final notice of non-renewal must be given by the board on or before May 15
  • Teachers must accept or reject contracts by June 15
Individuals who are facing non-renewal generally have three options:
  1. Accept the non-renewal
  2. Request a private conference with the board to contest the non-renewal
  3. Negotiate a resignation agreement in lieu of being non-renewed
Every situation is different and the pros and cons of each choice vary depending on the reason for non-renewal, the make-up of the board and its independence, local support and dozens of other factors. Members should always contact their Regional Director immediately upon receipt of a preliminary notice or, better yet, upon learning that non-renewal is being considered.
Governor Evers Sends Strong Message in Budget Address - Education IS a Priority

Governor Tony Evers unveiled a state budget increasing state funding of public K-12 schools by $1.4 billion over the next two years, requires that teachers receive preparation time as part of their workday, and achieves two-thirds state funding of education without raising property taxes.

In addition, he made the case for higher educator pay, saying, "Wisconsin pays our public school teachers less than the national average... We need to do our part to make sure our educators know that the work they do is valued and to use these funding increases to do everything they can to keep our talented educators here in Wisconsin."


Why Unions Matter for Early Career Educators

Felicia Raney, a language arts teacher from Camden, OH with 21 years under her belt, shares her advice about the importance of union memberships for early career educators and being active in your union.
Women's History Month for the Classroom

Lessons, Activities, Background Reading, and More

By Phil Nast, retired middle school teacher and freelance writer

The theme for 2019 is "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence." Examine the changing cultural perceptions of women in society and honor their contributions in the following lessons and activities.


Did You Know?
This Month's Member Benefits Highlight

Under water

After experiencing one of the devastating Wisconsin floods in 2018, the Brehms count themselves fortunate to have coverage through Member Benefits.
August in Wisconsin was wet. Severe storms with flash flooding, strong winds, and multiple tornadoes battered the state in the waning days of the month. The southwest, south central, and eastern areas of the state were especially hard hit-receiving between 10 and 15 inches of rain over a two-week period. Property damage exceeded $250 million. Bridges and roads washed out and thousands of Wisconsinites had property damage to homes and businesses from flooding. 

It's a common misunderstanding that standard home insurance policies will cover the damage from flooding, but in fact it never does.  Flood coverage can only be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP-but the policy must be in place for 30 days before coverage begins. 

However, water damage due to drain and sewer backup or sump pump overflow may be covered if you've added an endorsement to your home policy. 

This is an 11.0101 (10) (b) communication with WEAC members