Letters for the week of 9-4
Simac thanks campaign supporters
To all the great people who worked so hard during the state senate recall process and then during my campaign for the 12th District Senate seat, THANK YOU!
It was an experience we will never forget, and it will be the topic of discussion for many years to come. Butch and I are planning a Thank You Picnic in October for all volunteers and supporters, hope you will be able to make it.
Please plan on attending monthly meetings for the Republican county parties and the Northwoods Patriots. Keep in touch by checking into the Northwoods Patriots blog page at northwoodspatriots.blogspot.com.
Your time spent, your donations, your prayers were appreciated and it was truly a team effort. Your friendship and support will never be forgotten.
Kim Simac, Eagle River
Schools feel impact of budget cuts
Children are either back to school or close to it, and-as a teacher for three decades-I know Wisconsin educators are feeling that back-to-school excitement that comes with this time of year, even though this will be one of the most difficult years they have ever faced.
It’s my life-calling to teach children. I’m proud of my profession, and of all the Wisconsin public school employees who are my colleagues. We’re proud of the fact that 98 percent of Wisconsin teachers are highly qualified, and that our state is tops in graduation rates, college entrance exams and Advanced Placement scores. Those accomplishments came about because of dedication and hard work on behalf of employees and investment-community by community-in children and schools.
Despite our strong traditions, there are some things that set the start of this year apart from others. Wisconsin has said good-bye to many longtime educators, through massive retirements and layoffs due to severe budget cuts and divisive state government politics. With nearly $1 billion less in Wisconsin state aid for programs like gifted and talented, school milk, at-risk students and college prep, our students will feel the impact.
It’s clear from news of increasing school fees, larger class sizes and elimination of teacher preparation time that the amount of money educators are contributing toward their benefits cannot offset the large-scale cuts that will take place this year, and the even more dramatic cuts coming next year.
More than ever before, our students are depending on all of us-teachers, parents, communities-to foster partnerships that overcome obstacles and ensure every child a quality public education. At the end of the day, that’s what education is all about: student success. As a union of educators, we are committed to moving education forward.
For tips to help the children in your life start the year off right, visit weac.org/parents.
Mary Bell, Wisconsin Rapids
President, Wisconsin Education Association