State news roundup for September 6, 2014


Maryland – Welcome back to school!

MSEA President Betty Weller and Vice President Cheryl Bost welcome educators back to a new school year.

Find out more about Back to School time in Maryland and listen to MSEA’s new radio ad at

Wisconsin – Congressman Petri receives NEA Republican Educators Caucus Award

Congressman Petri WICongressman Tom Petri is the 2014 recipient of the Friend of Education Award from the Republican Educators Caucus of the National Education Association [ed note: pictured at top].

Petri received the award from Caucus Chairwoman Davina Keiser of California, Midwest Caucus Chairman and Green Bay teacher E-Ben Grisby, and Caucus member and Wautoma teacher Pat Schmidt. Ron Martin, vice president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, was also on hand to thank Congressman Petri for his service.

Petri, whose mother was a Fond du Lac teacher, has served in the U.S. Congress since 1979 and is retiring from his seat in Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District.

The Congressman served on education committees at the state and national level throughout his career, and said he was proud to represent the people of his District on all issues, including the important role of public schools. “I really do think there’s a national and community interest in preparing people for citizenship,” he said.


“Being a good teacher is an art, it’s not one-size-fits-all,” Congressman Petri said. He said his hopes for public education in Wisconsin include mentoring for new teachers and harnessing technology to foster stronger ties with parents. “Parental involvement makes all the difference. The question is how to make sure the community respects teachers,” he said. “That seems to be the issue.”

Visit to get the full story.

Pennsylvania – PSEA Report: Poorest students pay biggest price for school funding cuts

PSEA school funding reportWhen Gov. Tom Corbett slashed nearly $1 billion from public schools in 2011, he created a school funding crisis that gets worse every year these funds are not restored.

But these funding cuts are most painful for students who live in low-income communities.

A new PSEA research report finds that school funding cuts have hurt Pennsylvania’s poorest school districts and its neediest students the most, with larger classes and a drop in student achievement on standardized test scores.

The report, Budget cuts, student poverty, and test scores: Examining the evidence [ed note: pdf link], relies on data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to examine the effects of school funding cuts since 2011.

Researchers wrote that funding cuts to the poorest school districts averaged more than three times the size of cuts for the most affluent districts. Class sizes have risen as a result, with PDE data showing a greater increase in student-to-teacher ratios in districts with higher poverty than in the wealthiest districts.

“The school funding crisis is hurting every school district and every student in Pennsylvania, but the impact on our poorest districts and the students they serve is just devastating,” said PSEA President Michael Crossey. “Poor school districts rely on state funding the most and have the least ability to replace it with local revenues. Depriving students in those districts of needed resources is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.”

Find out more and download the complete report at

Illinois – Education Support Professional Fall Conference

IL ESPFall2014ConferenceBanner-300x156The IEA Education Support Professional Fall Conference is rapidly approaching! It will be held on October 17th and 18th at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Chicago – Oak Brook. The registration fee is $50.00 per local (unlimited attendees per local) and the deadline to register is October 10th. Select your sessions, get your registration in, and join us for professional development training and fun!

To find out more about the conference, visit, or simply click here to register for the event.

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