State News

Republicans vote to increase school funding, expand vouchers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has approved a wide-ranging Republican plan to increase public school funding and do away with an enrollment cap in the private school voucher program. The Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 with all Republicans in support and Democrats against early Wednesday morning to approve the plan after about More >

Budget panel debates takeover for some Milwaukee schools

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget-writing committee is debating a Republican-backed plan that would place the worst-performing Milwaukee Public Schools under control of a commissioner appointed by the county executive who could convert them into private voucher schools or independent charter schools. The Joint Finance Committee debated it late Tuesday night along with a More >

Highlights of education proposals in Wisconsin budget

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Legislature’s budget-writing committee on Tuesday unveiled its long-anticipated funding plan related to education issues in the state for the next two years. The entire state spending plan is expected to pass the Joint Finance Committee next week, and then head to the Senate and Assembly for votes. The education More >

Lawmakers to consider alternatives for teacher licenses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin schools would be able to hire people who don’t have a bachelor’s degree to teach subjects like math, science, technology and engineering under a proposal backed by Republicans on the Legislature’s budget-writing committee. The Joint Finance Committee was expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal to create an alternative track More >

Forget grades: Wisconsin report cards may have stars

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Forget grades. If Republicans on the Legislature’s budget-writing committee get their way, Wisconsin schools would be rated on a five-star system. Gov. Scott Walker had wanted to assign letter grades. Currently, schools are described as failing, meeting or exceeding expectations. The Joint Finance Committee was scheduled to vote Tuesday on going More >

Proposal opens public school sports to private students

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Home-schooled students and those attending private, virtual or charter schools would have to be allowed to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school under a proposal backed by Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature. The proposal was set to be added to the state budget by the More >

Civics test would be required to graduate high school

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee wants to require Wisconsin high school students to pass the civics portion of the U.S. citizenship test to graduate despite misgivings from educators. The Joint Finance Committee was to vote on making that a requirement on Tuesday. A separate bill had been introduced, but the committee is More >

Budget committee approves more spending for prison beds

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee has approved spending an additional $5 million above previous estimates to pay for housing inmates in the state prison system. The committee’s action Tuesday was needed because the prison population growth estimates in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget released in February are already outdated for both the state’s More >

Committee votes to cut 60 Wisconsin prison guard positions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sixty tower guard positions in 10 Wisconsin prisons would be eliminated under a vote by the Legislature’s budget committee. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday went along with Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to reduce third-shift tower guard staffing. The cuts will save the state about $5.9 million over the next More >

Survivor of Menasha shooting says she’s grateful for support

NEENAH, Wis. (AP) — A mother who survived the May 3 shooting on a Menasha park bridge says she has a long road ahead, but she’s grateful for the support she’s received. Erin Stoffel led two of her children to safety but was shot three times. WTMJ-TV reports she’s in good condition at a Neenah More >