Representing Wisconsin State Assembly District 93
This last week the Assembly passed a set of bills that continue to make progress on our longstanding commitment to offer quality and transparent education to all young Wisconsinites and their parents. Throughout my time in office, I have made it a priority to support students to prepare them for a successful future in which they have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
The first two bills aim to increase transparency in our local schools. Assembly Bill 378, of which I am a co-author, creates an online dashboard showing how local school districts are spending their tax dollars. With education in our state accounting for over one-third of our state's budget, myself and many of my other legislative colleagues regularly receive calls from constituents inquiring about how their local schools are spending this money. As there are so many different costs that many people may not even think of or be familiar with, this portal will enable them to better understand how these tax dollars are being spent.
The second bill, Assembly Bill 488, would require school districts to post learning materials and educational activities used for instruction on their school website for parents and other members of the community to see. This bill will enable parents to be aware of what their children are learning in the classroom and help foster an environment for greater involvement by parents in their child's education.
The third bill, Assembly Bill 563, would create a civics requirement for all Wisconsin students. A recent study found that only 24 percent of students in eighth grade understand how the US government operates. This bill strives to ensure students learn information regarding our rights and responsibilities as American citizens, the structure and function of the government at local, state and federal levels. It also requires teaching the history of our country and state so that they can be informed, confident and engaged citizens and voters. It would also ensure that each student becomes familiar with other governing philosophies such as communism, socialism and totalitarianism as compared to the U.S.'s founding principles of freedom and democracy.
Finally, we once again voted to provide additional mental health funding for our students. Assembly Bill 564 directs Gov. Evers to allocate $100 million of his federal stimulus funds to school mental health services. As we all know, this past year has been especially difficult for our youth as in-person learning and social interactions were often put on hold. These funds are essential for Wisconsin children to transition back to in-person school after over a year full of challenges and hardship.
These pieces of legislation highlight the importance of providing quality and transparent education to young Wisconsinites that will help them not only achieve their future school or career goals, but will also enable them to make decisions of which they can be proud. I hope that these bills will make their way through the Senate and end up signed by the governor.