It is another round of education changes from Assembly Republicans in Madison.
Republicans on Tuesday moved ahead with a series of plans that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says focuses on learning and makes it clear that parents are in charge of their child’s education.
“That’s really what the focus is,” Vos told reporters at the Capitol. “Making sure that parents have every single right to ensure what happens with their own kids.
Vos is pushing one plan, AB 995, that would require an in-person option for all kids if schools ever decide to try remote learning again. The plan would also spell out that parents will decide on vaccinations for their kids.
The plan that may get the most attention is AB 446, which would begin early literacy screenings for kids in kindergarten.
Rep. Bob Whitke, R-Racine, said the plan is unpopular because it comes with consequences for schools that don’t get kids reading at grade level by the third grade.
“Generally, those schools that have children who can’t read by the third grade would have to hold those students back until they are proficient enough to move on,” Whitke explained. “That is an uncomfortable conversation to have. But that is the reality of where we are at.”
Whitke said nearly two-thirds of school kids in Wisconsin cannot read, write, or do math at grade level.
“How many students are we going to fail?” Whitke asked. “This has got to stop. We are at a point in history where parents are demanding that we stop. That is why we are bringing up a number of these policy bills. That is our responsibility.”
Another Republican plan would require school resource officers if a school sees over 100 police calls or 25 arrests in one semester.
Two other proposals focus on free speech and Critical Race Theory at universities and technical colleges in the state.
All of the plans are expected to pass the Republican-controlled legislature. All of the plans are expected to be vetoed once they reach Gov. Evers’ desk.