What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education?
What is the Wisconsin Legislature trying to do to public education in Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s state?
State Superintendent Tony Evers has gone on record accusing lawmakers of moving toward new legislation “that erodes the basic foundation of Wisconsin’s public school system.” How? By legislature efforts that include refusing to spend more money on public education for the first time in more than 20 years while while giving millions of dollars more to expand a private voucher program, slashing higher education funding, and weakening licensing rules for teachers.
It's been a tumultuous year for faculty members within the University of Wisconsin System, from threats to the Wisconsin Idea to a proposed $300 million budget cut to Governor Scott Walker's suggestion that professors do more work to compensate for the slash.
But many professors and other observers said the roller coaster hit a new low Friday afternoon when the state Legislature's powerful Joint Finance Committee approved, by a vote of 12-4, the elimination of tenure from state statute, along with adding new limits to the faculty role in shared governance and procedures for eliminating faculty members in good standing outside of financial exigency.
As a professor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, I know firsthand how access to a high-quality higher education can make a difference in the lives of students. And I’ve also seen how the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges exploited that hope to burden tens of thousands of students with crushing debt, credits that don’t transfer and nothing to show for it but broken dreams.
When Everest College, part of Corinthian, opened across the street from MATC in October 2010, I didn’t know much about it. By the time that campus closed less than two years later, I knew plenty.
Everest charged much higher tuition and fees than MATC—four times as much for an associate degree in accounting, for example. Yet while 86 percent of MATC graduates are either working in their field or continuing their education within six months of graduation, the Everest Milwaukee campus had a job placement rate of less than 6 percent.
Corinthian used deception and high-pressure recruitment to defraud students—many of them low-income people fighting for their chance at a better life.
The Department of Education failed to protect students from Corinthian’s fraud. We need the department to do the right thing by tens of thousands of students and cancel their debt for loans they took on because of Corinthian’s lies.
Michael Rosen, Ph.D.
President, AFT Local 212/MATC
P.S. Do you know a student who was attending a now-closed Corinthian campus? Use this “Closed Student Loan Discharge Packet" to help them figure out if they are eligible for a loan discharge and walk them through the discharge process.
Arian Albert, the daughter of Local 212's Lisa Fabian Albert, has been awarded the American Federation of Teachers Wisconsin four- year college scholarship for 2015.
Arian, a senior at Whitefish Bay High School with a 4.12 GPA, plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities next year. She has been a member of her high school swim team for four years and works as a life guard at the Jewish Community Center.
Arian won three first place awards at the HOSA state conference this year. HOSA is a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of Association of Career and Technical Education whose mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.
Ms Albert has also volunteered with MATC at St. Ben's meal program for the homeless and at the Wisconsin Humane Society as a dog walker.
Arian speaks Spanish fluently and with her mother, an MATC ESL instructor, and sister lived in Panama last summer.
In her spare time she is Editor-in-Chief of the Whitefish Bay High School's newspaper, The Tower Times.
Milwaukee Area Technical College's education professionals voted
overwhelmingly to recertify their union, the American Federation of Teachers Local 212.
96% of the full-time faculty, counselors and accountants who voted, voted yes for Local 212.
96% of the professional staff, full and part-time, who voted, voted yes for Local 212.
96% of part-time faculty, who voted, voted yes for Local 212.
Unionization Pays Off for Community-College Instructors
Being represented by a union appears to pay big financial dividends for full-time instructors at community colleges, a new study concludes.
Depending on the size, location, and public-financing sources of their institution, unionized full-time instructors earn from about 5 to 50 percent more in pay and benefits than do their nonunionized peers at similar community colleges, says a paper summarizing the study’s results.
Abele Diminishes Milwaukee County’s Representation on MATC Board
Appoints Mequon manufacturer instead
of Milwaukee nominees
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele once again sided with suburban conservatives, this time when making appointments to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) board of directors.
In March, Abele passed over his fellow Milwaukee Democrat Sandy Pasch and other Milwaukeeans and appointed Mequon-based manufacturer Mary Isbister to the MATC board, a move that has his critics crying foul.
Look here for upcoming Executive Board Meetings, General Membership Meetings and other events
The James Shay Stear Swinford video:
AFT Scholarships announced
The Robert G. Porter scholarship is now accepting applications. It offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.
The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.
Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at UnionPlus.org/Assistance.
Another card option is available. Credit approval required. Terms & Conditions apply. Union Plus Credit Cards Issues by Capital One, N.A. The MasterCard Brand Mark is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.