Other Voices

Click here to view video testimonials.

School Finance Network members from across the state have been sharing their stories about how school funding impacts them, and now these personal accounts take on more importance than ever.

With the School Finance Network making its push to the Legislature for improved school funding, the spotlight will shine on how education funding affects everyone. The stories serve as personal faces behind years of backward measures causing real problems in schools across Wisconsin – such as revenue caps causing a spike in class sizes or some districts unable to afford new technology, or even enough pencils, for students.

Brooke Beeksma, Hayward High School health and physical education teacher

“With less funding, we are asked to maximize our classroom size to save money for our school. What good is this doing for our students? Larger classrooms do not allow for much one-on-one student-teacher interaction. The students are the individuals who suffer the most from the lack of funding. Our students are our future. We only have one chance to teach them. We cannot go back and re-teach or redo things that were unteachable due to the lack of funding. How dare we cheat our students from the most valuable gift of education by cuts in funding? More funding per pupil would lead to bigger successes for students and allow for more learning opportunities and teachable moments.”

“Effective school funding would make for smaller class sizes resulting in more one-on-one student-teacher interaction. Students today need the interaction more than ever. Sometimes the affection the students receive at school from a teacher is the most interaction they will receive all day. I have had the opportunity to experience this many times while teaching. As teachers, we value education. Our students value it even more. We need to value school funding as well. The change we need is to move forward with our school funding reform agenda. What a world of difference we could continue to make.”

Stacy Wiedenhaupt, Fox Valley kindergarten teacher

“I teach kindergarten in a school with growing numbers of free and reduced lunch students, as well as a diverse socio-economic population. The number of students in our classrooms continues to grow. At one point, we were up to 27 students per kindergarten class!” 

“The needs of 5-year-olds are vastly different than the needs of students in the upper grades. I cannot give the necessary amount of time, energy and attention to my students. The achievement gap continues to grow and without lowering the class sizes by putting a cap on the number of kindergartners per class (and other lower elementary grades), we are setting these students up for failure. “

“Kindergarten sets the foundation for future learning. More attention needs to be placed on early intervention and the birth-to-age 5 population! We need to start at the beginning in order to set our students on the path for success.”

Sarah Madeska, Milwaukee teacher

“Right now, at my school, we have class sizes ranging from 18 for special education (where they should be around 8 to 10) to English classes with 40 students and one teacher. How can we, as educators, contend with the students’ emotional, physical and academic needs when we have these student-to-teacher ratios?”

 

Video Testimonials

 

Superior Parent Testimonial - Christina Kintop

Janesville Business and Parent Testimonial - Randy Golackson

Wausau Business Testimonial - Robb Shepherd

Wausau Teacher Testimonial - Chris Janssen

Janeen LaBorde, Science Teacher, Merrill

 

Cathy Ordemann, Science Teacher, Merrill