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Task Force on Urban Education Falls Short for Kids PDF Print E-mail
Education - Articles for Education
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 17 June 2016 19:40

teacherTask Force, a follow-up to last year's panel on rural education, issued a dozen recommendations on state funding for four-year-old kindergarten and early childhood education. Green Bay representative says we must do more to give all school children in Wisconsin an equal opportunity at educational success.

MADISON - On Thursday, the state Assembly’s Task Force on Urban Education, chaired by Rep. Jesse Rodriguez (R - Oak Creek) issued a dozen recommendations, including reviewing state funding for four-year-old kindergarten and other options for early childhood education.

jesse-rodriguezThe task force is a follow-up to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ panel on rural education in a previous session of the legislature. Rodriguez and her colleagues focused on the six largest school districts in the state of Wisconsin, about 20 percent of the state’s total student population.

“With limited time and resources, we needed to just look at a few things that we knew we could possibly make a difference,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also felt student mental health was a major area of concern.

“We were able to look at three different areas that we wanted to focus on,” the Milwaukee County Republican said in an interview Thursday. “That was early childhood education, mental health and best practices for truancy and low graduation rates, as well as teacher training, recruitment and retention.”

eric-genrichOn the other hand, Rep. Eric Genrich (D - Green Bay), a member of the task force, felt it's work for this year left some areas for improvement.

“As a member of the Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education, I valued the opportunity to visit some of the largest urban school districts in the state and discuss the challenges faced by students and educators in these settings," said Genrich. "I appreciate the time and thought that has been devoted to this effort by Chair Rodriguez and my fellow members, but I urge us all to think seriously about what we owe to all school children in Wisconsin: an equal opportunity at educational success. Unfortunately, the recommendations of the Task Force unveiled today fall short of this obligation.”

“As we move closer to the 2017-18 legislative session, I will continue the conversations with parents, educators, school board members, and fellow policymakers in an effort to articulate a vision and agenda for public education that is worthy of the children of this state, including a fair and adequate school funding formula, a commitment to combating child poverty and socioeconomic segregation, and a real investment in universally available early education opportunities,” Genrich concluded.

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