Friday October 20, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

WTCS/UWS Merger Talks Should Be Open PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 21 August 2015 09:57

uw-system_campusesRep. Dana Wachs asks for greater notice, media scrutiny, input from public on creation of the WTCS/UWS Merger Work Group.

MADISON – On Friday, August 14, Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) sent a letter to Rep. Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) requesting that meetings of the WTCS/UWS Merger Work Group be properly noticed, open to the public and media, and include participation from Democratic members of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities.

“Like many of my legislative colleagues as well as concerned citizens throughout Wisconsin, I was surprised to hear about this work group,” said Rep. Wachs, ranking Democratic member of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee. “The potential for such a merger deserves much more than closed door meetings with a few people. Public input, media scrutiny, and participation from both sides of the aisle should be the cornerstones of any legislative discussion.”

The creation of the WTCS/UWS Merger Work Group was recently announced, and the first informal meeting was held on Wednesday, August 12. The work group, which is chaired by Rep. Katsma, also includes Reps. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) and Dan Knodl (R-Germantown).

“While we may have differing opinions on the merits or details of such a merger, one thing that that we should all agree upon is the importance of open, honest discussions about legislation that will affect Wisconsinites,” added Wachs. “I have requested that these hearings be given greater public notice, be open to the public and the media, and include Democrats who serve on the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. I welcome further discussion on this issue. As an elected representative and the ranking Democratic member of the committee, I respectfully request that the concerns raised in my letter be given the consideration that they deserve.”

Clinton Unveils Plan to Make College Debt-Free PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bold Progressives   
Monday, 10 August 2015 09:10

hillary-clintonNATIONAL - Today, Hillary Clinton outlined her plan for a top PCCC big idea: debt-free college.

Clinton’s plan to invest hundreds of billions of dollars into making college debt-free for millions of students is nothing short of a game changer in the national debate.

For months, PCCC members and think tank Demos engaged presidential campaigns on this issue. Together with allies, our organizing in Congress and early presidential states put this idea on the map -- and shifted the 2016 debate!

The Wall Street Journal reports: "The Clinton campaign views this proposal as a centerpiece of its domestic agenda, akin in importance to health care in 2008, and it is her most expensive proposal so far."

Share today's huge momentum on Facebook and Twitter -- to show that activism matters, and to get this big idea to voters!

And if you value the activism that got us this far, donate $3 so we can continue pressing candidates to make big ideas like debt-free college, infrastructure, clean-energy jobs, Wall Street reform, campaign finance reform, and expanding Social Security benefits central to the 2016 debate.

Bloomberg reports, "The phrase ‘debt-free college’ was hardly present in the national political lexicon until the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a campaign in January to push Democrats to support the idea...The PCCC partnered with the left-leaning think tank Demos to write a white paper on the idea."

In June, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley unveiled a bold proposal to make college debt-free for all students within five years. And Bernie Sanders has a bold plan to make college tuition-free.

Together, our activism is working. And thank goodness it is -- because big ideas like debt-free college are great policy and great politics for Democrats.

A national Progressive Change Institute poll found voters support debt-free college 71% to 19% -- and this was the top issue Democrats who didn’t show up in 2014 said would have motivated them to vote if candidates had campaigned on it.

Clinton’s proposal will make college debt-free for millions by increasing federal and state investment in Higher Ed and expanding access to Pell Grants and work-study opportunities. Graduating debt-free will empower graduates to start a small business, buy a first home, and start a family. Just as the GI Bill had a 7-to-1 return on investment for America's economy, debt-free college will allow millions of people to fully participate in growing our economy.

The next step is making this and other "big ideas" central campaign issues for Democrats from top to bottom of the ticket in 2016.

Genrich Says GOP Omnibus Education Motion Violates State's Tradition PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 17:41

eric-genrichMADISON - Early Wednesday morning, the Republican dominated Joint Finance (JFC) passed the Omnibus Education Package on a straight party 12-4 vote. While the plan increases K-12 funding, it also expands School Choice in Wisconsin and approves Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Reform Plan which allows the Milwaukee County Executive to appoint a commissioner to run a type of recovery program for failing schools.

Rep. Eric Genrich (D - Green Bay) said today on the Joint Finance Committee’s DPI Omnibus Motion:

“Last night, in its hasty and irresponsible passage of an omnibus motion funding the Department of Public Instruction, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee disavowed the constitutional commitment that every member of the state legislature has sworn an oath to uphold. This principle, that every child in Wisconsin has a ‘fundamental right to an equal opportunity for a sound basic education,’ is at the core of our state’s best traditions and promises.

“Those who seek to undermine this moral and legal obligation are vandalizing our history and undermining our future. Their actions run counter to the wishes of the people of Wisconsin, which have been expressed so eloquently throughout the budget process.

“In spite of the actions of the Joint Committee on Finance, I ask all interested citizens to continue in their efforts to defend the rights and interests of all Wisconsin’s kids. This fight is not over, and it won’t be until it has been won for the children of this state.”

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