Why would anyone want to become a teacher in Wisconsin nowadays?
The earning potential of Wisconsin teachers dropped significantly as a result of Act 10. Salaries for beginning teachers are comparable to those in nearby states. However, after five years, the average Wisconsin teacher earns the lowest salary in the Midwest. Teachers are leaving education and taking private sector jobs.
This has serious repercussions. ACT scores released earlier this year show a drop in average Wisconsin ACT scores from 22.2 to 20.0.
Why? The finger can be pointed at Act 10.
Wisconsin used to have one of the highest percentages of K-12 teachers with advanced degrees in the country. Now, our students are likely to be in a classroom with a teacher who barely earned a teaching license and who has minimal experience.
According to www.teachinginwisconsin.com, some experts suggest, “If the current massive K-12 funding cuts and diversion of tax dollars to private and voucher schools accelerates at the pace of the past 5 years, within a decade every public school system in Wisconsin will be bankrupt. … Current class sizes of 30+ will escalate to 40-50 or more as more public school funding is diverted to private and voucher schools across Wisconsin”.
A press release from the governor’s office regarding a 2011 Wisconsin Educational Association Council survey corroborated the financial implications of Act 10 on education: “31 percent of school districts laid off teachers, 59 percent of school districts increased class size, 22 percent of school districts increased student fees, 8 percent of school districts reduced extracurricular programs.”
Based on this, how will Wisconsin graduates be competitive in a global market?
The residents of the 40th District Assembly need someone devoted to helping our graduates gain job skills despite the setbacks in education. Dmitri Martin is that person.
In announcing his candidacy, Martin stated the need to invest in education. We need support for pre-K to post-secondary education. We need progressive, forward-thinking like this in Madison. We need Dmitri Martin in Madison.