Democrats Release Urban Education Task Force Minority Report

popeA year ago, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced the formation of several bipartisan task forces including the Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education. According to the Speaker, the goal of each task force was to explore possible solutions and recommend legislation to the full Assembly.

The Urban Education Task Force chair, Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin), released her final report in June. Vice-chair Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb, pictured), on behalf of the task force Democrats, released a minority report which makes the following recommendations: 

I. Poverty

  1. Increase the statewide minimum wage
  2. Restore Cut to Earned Income Tax Credit and Provide Resources for Statewide Expansion of Transitional Jobs Programs
  3. Provide Additional Resources for the Transform Milwaukee Jobs and Transitional Jobs Programs
  4. Reduce Burden of Childcare Costs for Low-Income Families
  5. Pass and Implement the Fair Funding Model
  6. Reinstate Chapter 220

II. Addressing Teacher Recruitment and Retention

  1. Pass and Implement Fair Funding
  2. Create Grants for Incentive Pay
  3. Expand HEAB Grants for Loan Forgiveness
  4. Reinstate a Fully-Funded SAGE Program
  5. Develop Programs to Recruit More Teachers of Color

III. Mental Health, Behavior, and Truancy

  1. Create Initiatives for Trauma-Informed Care and Child Interactive Therapy Program Grants
  2. Provide Aid for Districts with a High Percentage of Mobile and Transient Students
  3. Increase state reimbursement of Special Education to 33%
  4. Devise Alternatives to Suspension and Expulsion
  5. Create Outreach Teams in High-Truancy Schools
  6. Apply Targeted Community-Schools Model Services
  7. Pass Legislation Regarding Educational Neglect

IV. Education Alternatives

  1. Increase resources and incentives for ESL/ELL training both for incoming and existing teachers
  2. Invest in Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Expansion Grants for High School Pupils
  3. Allow for the Creation of Flexible School Districts of Innovation

V. Achievement Gap

  1. Develop State-level Programs to Assist Districts in Implementing Achievement Gap Intervention (Response to Intervention) Programs
  2. Provide grants for expanding AVID/TOPS pilot programs in urban areas

VI. Early Childhood Development and Alternative Schools

  1. Provide Full State Funding for 4K and Partial State Funding for 3K Instruction
  2. Increase Funding and Resources for Summer Reading Programs, with an Emphasis on 4K through 3rd grade
  3. Create Grants for Community Schools