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Legislative Update

Gov. Evers suggests waiver from start date to help students catch up; rejects GOP request to provide funding based on in-person instruction

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

Gov. Tony Evers suggested a waiver from the Sept. 1 start date and robust summer school offerings to help address pandemic -related learning loss for Wisconsin’s K-12 students.

From The Cap Times (Briana Reilly):

“There’s no question that there is a learning loss, and I’m not blaming anybody for this,” the Democratic governor said at a virtual luncheon Tuesday. “This is a pandemic … and so it’s just one of the byproducts of that and we have to face it and make sure that our kids get caught up.”

Lawmakers in recent sessions have sought to lift the Sept. 1 start-date for public schools, put in place in a 2000 law that was pushed by the tourism industry. But those efforts to begin instruction earlier haven’t been successful, as tourism officials have resisted cutting into one of their most profitable months.

He also rejected the GOP Legislature’s request to have federal funds under the governor’s purview to be distributed based on in-person instruction. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has already directed some federal funding to be distributed in this way.

But Evers rejected that notion Tuesday, noting “it costs money to do it virtually; it costs money to do it in person.”

“Whether that idea has validity or not, and I don’t think it has much, it’s out of the question,” he said.

The Governor also commented on vaccinating educators and whether he would endorse a candidate for state superintendent. Read more.

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