Evers orders all schools closed March 18 – April 6

Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, according to a press release.

Madison Students Look to Launch All-City Black Student Union

Eleven passionate Black MMSD students gathered on Tuesday night at East High School to continue planning for the launch of a city-wide Black Student Union (BSU). 

Two high school seniors have taken the lead on organizing a coalition of BSUs at the city’s four high schools.

Madison school board to address “zero tolerance” racial slur policy

Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education members announced Monday night that they will work with school district administration to amend the zero-tolerance policy that resulted in the termination of Madison West High School security staff member Marlon Anderson. 

Reach Dane Celebrates 50 Years

Fifty years ago, on July 7, 1969 the Dane County Parent Council broke off and became their own independent nonprofit. This year, Reach Dane, an organization providing early childhood care to low income families, celebrates 50 years. 

Over the past five decades, the organization has grown, today serving 1,000 children at 18 locations. Staff balance $17 million in donations and grants to provide holistic care for the children and the families they serve. The nonprofit has had major milestones and they hope to continue to improve in the future. 

Badgers United to Legislature: Lift Tuition Freeze

Badgers United, a new nonprofit organization, launched in June to undergird the financial position of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus.

Executive Director Amber Schroeder said the organization hopes to highlight how UW-Madison helps the entire state succeed.

“We look forward to sharing information with citizens and stakeholders alike to create a greater understanding of the powerful economic value of UW-Madison and help folks understand the wealth of data out there and what it is telling us to do,” Schroeder said.

Here are the 26 People Vying for One Open School Board Seat

As Madison school board members prepare to appoint a replacement for longtime Madison Metropolitan School Board (MMSD) member Mary Burke, they have 26 applications to look through. 

MMSD policy requires that the Board choose an immediate replacement to fill Burke’s seat within 60 days of her departure. However, a Wisconsin state statute requires that appointees win election in the next possible spring, in 2020, to continue their service on the board.  Additionally, because the person appointed to Burke’s seat would be serving out her original three-year term, that person would be up for re-election yet again in 2021. 

Those interested in applying for the vacant board seat was asked to complete a short statement describing their views on critical issues facing the district, and early thoughts about how those issues might be addressed. Those applications were due July 19, and were posted online for public transparency. 

Board members plan to discuss potential applicants and select a new board member at its July 22 meeting.  

Here’s a look at the applicants, in alphabetical order:

David Aguayo is an executive assistant in the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and has previously held positions as a paralegal in with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and as a commissioner with the Washington D.C. Commission on Latino Community Development. He expressed interested in seeking alternatives to detention as a disciplinary practice, and highlighted the need to attract and retain more teachers of color in MMSD schools. 

Erin Arango-Escalante is the administrator for the Division of Early Care and Education at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and previously held positions at WIDA within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Arango-Escalante, a graduate of MMSD schools, identified issues with funding streams for English Language Learner (ELL) students, community-based early education opportunities, and family outreach as core to her goals as a potential board member. 

Micah Ariel-Rohr is a former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teacher, and currently serves as assistant director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hillel.