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A Wacky Week in Wisconsin

February 18th, 2011 at 08:14 am

As I'm sure many of you have seen, it's been a tumultuous week in Wisconsin. I hope it's offered some valuable lessons to my students who think everything is about money. Indeed as an SA devotee, I think about money a lot, but I hope I think about value more than just money. Indeed as I spend my day grading on-line papers, I want/need to think even more about it.

Although tumultuous, it's been a cheap week. I'm determined to eat a lot of what's been in our pantry and freezer. I've eaten all my (late) lunches at home or out of my work bag. Last night I made stuffed shells, bringing a pan of them to my colleague with the ill child. We enjoyed them too. I also managed to mix up a box of Williams Sonoma Cookies and Cream pound cake mix I got for a gift. It was fine--not all that spectacular, but DH enjoyed it.

DD is having "Hibernation Day" at her school. She's been looking forward to the nature talks and bringing her sleeping bag into her classroom.

Good weekends to you all!

2 Responses to “A Wacky Week in Wisconsin”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Yep, I've been following the news from WI, logging onto your local papers in order to get a fuller story and details, including how a non-partisan study showed WI would have had a $124,000,000 surplus for the current fiscal period---UNTIL the governor's party in January passed $92,000,000 in aid to business "jobs stimulating" bills plus $48,000,000 in tax reductions (new tax shelters for Health Savings accounts, typically used in WI by those with incomes high enough to thusly self insure [average $139,000 annual income]).

    I'm seriously following this because I think this is just the beginning of strong cut backs to public services that will be rolling across the country, something which concerns me immensely. MO teachers already pay 14% of their lower-than-national-average salaries into the pension plan. That is more than many people in private business set aside for retirement. Our teachers pay (I think) about 1/4 of their health insurance costs as well. Yet, the state would like to see even further concessions from them. In fact, the state of MO tried to take over the teachers' independently run pension plan in order to pump up the state run general state pension plan. So watch out WI: It is never ending.

    But do I understand correctly that besides the public employee contributions to health insurance and pensions, the governor also wants to reduce (by as much as 9.6 %) state support of public schools, K though university, as well as pass a law preventing local school districts from making up the difference?

  2. My English Castle Says:

    Yeah, it's bad, Joan. The elimination of collective bargaining itself doesn't save the state a penny. They're doing it because they're slashing funds to municipalities. And yet they paint this as a fairness issue, when the increases in the state's contribution to pension funds has been a tool to somehow compensate employees who have not received any wage increases in years. I've worked there 15 years, and have received a $300 wage increase. Other increases were all based on promotion to a higher tank. And that lofty $300 was demolished by the mandatory (and impossible to fulfill) furlough days. I cannot take a day off from
    work during the teaching year or students' papers would never get evaluated. So essentially those furlough days were a 3 percent cut already. Walker has dumped the entire burden of debt onto public workers.

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