Dear Shorewood families,
We are writing with an urgent request for you to contact your elected officials, and encourage them to provide emergency financial relief to America’s K-12 public schools.
DPI released its guidance on returning to school yesterday, and one thing is crystal clear: if districts are going to implement this guidance when schools reopen under a continuing threat of the coronavirus, it's going to be more expensive - not less.
The Assembly Education Committee will be meeting TOMORROW (Wednesday, June 24th) at 10am to hear ONLY invited testimony from education groups and lobbying organizations. This hearing could be an opportunity for lawmakers to understand the urgency of ensuring that our schools have the resources and supports needed to meet the growing needs of students as they reopen during a global pandemic. With fall funding still uncertain, districts are struggling to draft budgets to meet these growing needs without additional support.
Here in Shorewood, we are expecting a $600k to $700k budget shortfall in the Fall as our state support is cut.
THE HEROES ACT
On April 6, 2020, nonpartisan organizations including the School Superintendent’s Association (AASA), American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, Council of Administrators of Special Education, Council of Great City Schools, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Education Association, National PTA and the National School Boards Association penned a letter to the majority and minority leaders in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House urging them to allocate at least $200 billion in K-12 federal emergency relief funding, including the following:
- At least $175 billion: Provision of emergency funding directly to state governments to support local school districts. The Shorewood School District would receive $138,878.
- At least $25 billion: $13 billion to support IDEA and $12 billion to support Title I
- At least $2 billion: Funding technology to further enable home-based learning and close inequities in broadband Internet access
The Heroes Act that passed by the U.S. House on May 15th includes $60B for K-12 education. But the fight is far from over. This is likely to be our last chance at getting help to the states and schools before the election.
We know that the financial needs of our schools will be more - not less - when our schools reopen, and our lawmakers need to understand that. More cuts and austerity budgets are not an option. We cannot afford to let our students fall behind even further. The time to come together across parties and make our priority needs our priority investments is NOW.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Call on your state AND federal representatives to support Wisconsin students by demanding support of passage of the HEROES Act. Send a personal message (including your name and address) or call your elected officials encouraging them to allocate sufficient emergency stabilization aid enabling our kids’ K-12 public school districts to fund their staff and programs, execute on their missions, and avoid disruptive furloughs and cuts.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
Complete this online form: https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
Complete this online form: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/feedback
U.S. Congressman James Sensenbrenner
Complete this online form: https://sensenbrenner.house.gov/contact
U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore
Complete this online form: https://gwenmoore.house.gov/contact/
Governor Tony Evers
Wisconsin State Senator Dale Kooyenga
Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor
Wisconsin State Representative David Bowen
THIS IS URGENT – and may be our last chance to get help for our state and school districts – help for our students! The impact of COVID-19 on the education of our students may be nothing short of breathtaking. The effects of lost learning time may be felt for years, especially for our most vulnerable students. Districts must have the resources to ensure that all students receive necessary educational opportunities!
Please join your School Board, District Administrators and the Shorewood Education Association in taking action for our students and schools. More than ever, our children need the safety and security of their classrooms. They need loving teachers and support staff. Thank you for your support of our students and our public schools.