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(AP) The state Department of Public Instruction is reporting that the number of teachers and other staff working in Wisconsin schools dropped 2.3 percent this school year. The data released today comes in the middle of an ongoing political fight with Gov. Scott Walker over the impact of cuts he made to public school funding last year and changes to collective bargaining rights that he says helped districts make up for the losses in aid. State Superintendent Tony Evers says in a statement there must be a bipartisan investment in public education because losses in school staff erode the public education system. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie says that districts could have cut positions and saved money.
(AP) We Energies says it has started disconnecting Wisconsin and Michigan residential customers who are behind on their energy bills. A state-imposed moratorium on disconnecting customers ended Monday. Commercial and industrial customers are exempt from the Nov. 1 to April 15th moratorium and can be disconnected for nonpayment anytime throughout the year. The Milwaukee utility company is urging customers to keep their accounts current by making payment arrangements if they're behind. We Energies says it can offer payment plans, including a minimum payment option.
(AP) The state of Wisconsin is warning people that not all money raised by professional law enforcement and firefighting associations goes to local agencies. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advises people to make sure they know where their donation is going before agreeing to give the money. Agency official Sandy Chalmers says the money raised by the campaigns is legitimate, but it can be confusing to people who think they are helping out their local departments. The Consumer Protection Bureau says if anyone has questions about where their money is going, they should simply ask. Solicitors are required by law to give out that information. The bureau says to be suspicious of any caller unable or unwilling to disclose that basic information.
The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court. In November, the state Senate approved SB 202, which rolled back this provision. In February, the Assembly did the same. Earlier this month, Governor Scott Walker signed the bill and it is now called Act 219. Some have said it is a war on women....but one local lawmaker says no so fast.
Representative Steve Doyle, In La Crosse Tuesday, explained why men are effected by the act.
Doyle was joined by representative Jill Billings and State Seantor Jennifer Shilling on what's known across the country as Equal Pay Day. The day saw people holding rallies, wearing red to symbolize how women's wages are in the red, handing out Pay Day candy bars, and hosting bake sales with discounts for women.
Should the La Crosse School District build a new Northside school and if so...what should they do with Roosevelt Elementary. Those questions will be coming to community residents soon in the form of a survey.....the first sent by the district since 2007. Superintendent, Randy Nelson, says you'll get some info on the survey soon.
A new school could be built on the same site at a cost of $14-16 million. This would provide capacity for all Franklin, Roosevelt and Coulee Montessori students. If Roosevelt Elementary were closed, the Board would work with the north side community to determine the best use for the building.