Evers Names Gau Chief of Staff; Anton Transition Director

By John Forester | November 12, 2018

From WisPolitics.com …

Maggie Gau, who served as Tony Evers’ campaign manager for his successful guv bid and previously worked as a legislative aid in the state Capitol, will become his chief of staff.

Meanwhile, JoAnne Anton, who formerly worked as U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s state director and now leads his philanthropic organization, will be the director of Evers’ transition team, the campaign announced today.

Evers’ campaign also announced five co-chairs:

Stay tuned.

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Walker Concedes

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

From WisPolitics.com …

Gov. Scott Walker conceded this afternoon, offering the “full support of my staff and our cabinet” as Dem rival Tony Evers begins the transition process.

In a statement that thanked his family and aides and paid homage to his father, who passed away during the campaign, the guv praised Evers for “his gracious comments on our call today.” He also thanked Wisconsin voters, saying it was his honor to serve as their guv for eight years.

“We’ve come a long way together and it is my sincere hope that the progress we’ve made during our time in office will continue and that we can keep Wisconsin working for generations to come,” Walker said.

See the statement here.

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SAA Statement on Evers’ Election Victory

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

The SAA has issued this statement on the election of Tony Evers to Governor.

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Public School Districts and Private School Pupil Transportation

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

From the Legal Side . . .

In its most recent Legal Update, the Strang Patteson Law Firm reviews a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding Wisconsin school districts’ private school pupil transportation requirements.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of Strang Patteson.

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School Referendum Results

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

From The Wheeler Report …

Please find linked below the School Referendum Results from around the state compiled by The Wheeler Report from DPI data.

The success rate on these referenda questions is overwhelming.  Check it out.

School Referendum Results

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Senate GOP, Dems to Caucus Tomorrow

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

From WisPolitics.com …

Senate Republicans will caucus tomorrow in Room 411 South for leadership elections, according to Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s office.

GOP legislative leaders had previously announced plans to come in next week for an extraordinary session. A Fitzgerald aide said the caucus plans to discuss scheduling, but didn’t plan to get into the merits of the Kimberly-Clark incentive package, which sparked the extraordinary session call.

Senate Dems are scheduled to caucus tomorrow as well.

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Wisconsin Voters Go for Divided Government

By John Forester | November 7, 2018

From WisPolitics.com …

Democrats in Wisconsin are claiming a sweep of statewide offices after a wild election night that appears to end eight years of Republican dominance at the statehouse.

But while state schools Superintendent Tony Evers declared victory over Gov. Scott Walker, the Walker team has not conceded. Josh Kaul also had a slim lead over GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel in a race that hadn’t been called.

“It’s time for change, folks,” Evers told supporters in Madison. “And now that the race is behind us, I look forward to moving forward together.”

But Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in her remarks to supporters in Pewaukee early this morning hinted at preparing for a possible recount. Saying “the fight is not over,” Kleefisch said the Walker campaign is “preparing for the likelihood of a recount.”

She spoke as Milwaukee County officials announced a final tally of more than 40,000 absentee ballots that swung heavily in Evers’ favor.

And Walker aide Brian Reisinger told WisPolitics.com the campaign was waiting for the official canvass and for military ballots to be counted before any decisions could be made.

He added thousands “of ballots were damaged and had to be recreated” in Milwaukee, but didn’t provide additional details.

“Until there is a comparison of the original ballots to the recreated ballots, there is no way to judge their validity,” he said.

The unofficial statewide results, with all precincts reporting, have Evers up by 31,061 votes over Walker with 49.6 percent of the 2.67 million cast in the governor’s race.

Under a new state law, a losing candidate must finish no more than 1 percent behind the winner to be able to request a recount, and the margin must be less than .25 percent otherwise the candidate requesting it must cover the costs.

The unofficial margin is nearly 1.2 percent of all votes cast.

Walker, who garnered 48.4 percent, throughout the night failed to hit his 2014 vote totals in several key areas as he lost his bid for a third four-year term.

See Journal Sentinel coverage here.

Despite Democrats’ apparent sweep of constitutional offices and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s 10 percentage-point victory over Leah Vukmir, Republicans will return for next session with secure majorities.

The Senate GOP caucus was poised to return in the majority at 19-14 after Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, beat Sen. Caleb Frostman in Door County’s 1st CD — a rematch of their June special election. Other seats targeted by Dems were held by Republicans, including the southwestern Wisconsin seat held by Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green.

Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, won the seat being vacated by Vukmir; Rep. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, won the GOP seat opened by Terry Moulton’s retirement; and former state Rep. Jeff Smith kept Kathleen Vinehout’s western Wisconsin seat in Dem hands.

In the Assembly, Republicans went into Tuesday with a 64-35 majority and only a handful of races in GOP-held seats ended up being nip-and-tuck.

GOP state Treasurer Matt Adamczyk had just a 21-vote lead over Dem Robyn Vining with all precincts reporting.

See Journal Sentinel coverage here.

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Vote Tomorrow!

By John Forester | November 5, 2018

Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow in Wisconsin’s Fall General Election.  The stakes are enormous in this election for public education.  Those elected will determine the direction of Wisconsin K-12 education policy for the next 2-4 years.

The following contests will be on the ballot:  Governor, one of two U.S. Senate seats, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate (odd-numbered seats), State Assembly, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Secretary of State.  In addition, numerous school referenda will also be on the ballot.

So get out there and let your voice be heard on behalf of the students you serve.

Vote tomorrow!

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Walker, Evers Tied in Race for Governor

By John Forester | November 1, 2018

From WisPolitics.com …

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll found a tied race for guv, while Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin maintained a big lead over GOP challenger Leah Vukmir.

Gov. Scott Walker and Dem challenger Tony Evers were each backed by 47 percent of respondents. Libertarian Phil Anderson was at 3 percent.

Poll director Charles Franklin noted the exact same number of respondents backed Evers and Walker in the results.

Last month, it was 47-46 Walker with Anderson at 5 percent.

The June Marquette poll had Walker plus-2. The race was tied in August. The September poll had Evers plus-5. And earlier this month was Walker plus-1.

“You look across that stream, and it’s hard to conclude anything other than a toss-up race,” Franklin said.

Evers was viewed favorably by 42 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 41 percent.

Meanwhile, Walker’s job approval rating was 51-47. The poll showed 54 percent of likely voters said the state was on the right track, while 42 percent said it was headed in the wrong direction.

But independents backed Evers 49-42.

Wisconsin State Journal Coverage

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Coverage

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Enrollments Announced for Voucher Programs

By John Forester | October 30, 2018

According to the Department of Public Instruction, student enrollment in Wisconsin’s three private school parental choice programs showed a one-year increase of about 8.7 percent. The largest increase came from the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program with student headcounts rising from 4,534 in 2017-18 to 7,140 in 2018-19.  The Department of Public Instruction uses enrollment numbers to calculate public school district aid deductions related to these voucher programs.  For more information, including links to a list of all private schools participating and their enrollment and financial impacts, see the DPI press release here.

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