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From Our Blog

WPEN Summer Summit

WPEN Summer Summit

Registration for the WPEN Summer Summit is open now. Please join your fellow public education advocates for this stimulating get-together. >>Learn...

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

SOS Wauwatosa was chosen to present about our advocacy and coalition-building model to promote public education at the Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis in October. We'll share our experience, and learn about how similar organizations nationwide...

In The News

WPEN Summer Summit

WPEN Summer Summit

Registration for the WPEN Summer Summit is open now. Please join your fellow public education advocates for this stimulating get-together. >>Learn...

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

SOS Wauwatosa was chosen to present about our advocacy and coalition-building model to promote public education at the Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis in October. We'll share our experience, and learn about how similar organizations nationwide...

Sending out an “SOS” to Wauwatosa

Support Our Schools (SOS) Wauwatosa is a parent-powered, nonpartisan, grassroots non-profit that believes in and advocates for public education in Wauwatosa and throughout Wisconsin. All of our board members are parents of current and former students of the Wauwatosa School District. We are concerned about the ways in which state funding for public schools has been cut and taxpayer money has been diverted from public education to private voucher schools in recent years.

We believe our public schools are the heart of our community. We believe that having neighborhood schools, extensive class choices, and affordable school-based activities are investments in our kids – investments that strengthen Wauwatosa and Wisconsin. Over 80% of Wisconsinites send their kids to public schools and we are confident that these beliefs and values are widely shared throughout the state.

Our Past, Present and Future

SOS Wauwatosa formed in March 2015 in response to the Governor’s proposed two-year budget, which initially called for $127 million in cuts to K-12 public education statewide, after four previous years of drastic cuts. In response, a group of parents came together, chose a name, launched a website and Facebook page, and designed postcards to engage legislators and the media. Fortunately, the final 2015-2017 budget didn’t include the extensive cuts initially proposed. Nevertheless, public school funding did not keep pace with inflation and taxpayer money continued to be diverted from public education to private voucher schools.

In 2016 (a “non-budget year”), SOS Wauwatosa spent time building coalitions with public education advocacy groups across the state; we provided information to our fellow citizens about public schools and the importance of investing in them; and we built our capacity (a new website, database, non-profit status, etc.) so that we could positively influence the next biennial state budget.

Since 2017, some of SOS Wauwatosa’s activities have included:

  • Hosting a Spring Budget Forum
  • Meeting with state legislators locally and attending committee hearings in Madison
  • Delivering snacks to over 1,000 teachers and staff for “I Love My Public Schools Week”
  • Collaborating with public education advocates from across the state
  • Testifying at the Joint Finance Committee and Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
  • Publishing a Voter’s Guide for our local Wauwatosa School Board election (2017 & 2018)
  • Organizing a legislative postcard drive and yard sign drive
  • Speaking with reporters and getting Op-Eds published
  • Speaking at community meetings (PTAs, PTOs, Rotary, League of Women Voters, etc.)

The 2017-2019 State Budget that was signed in October 2017 included increased money for public schools – about $200 per pupil the first year and another $204 the second. We believe our efforts made a difference! However, over the past 6 years, Wisconsin’s spending on public schools dropped below the national average, and only a fraction of the cuts have been restored. Nationwide, there is a movement towards “privatization”, and Wisconsin has been on the forefront of the expansion of taxpayer-funded, minimally accountable voucher schools. Therefore, we remain concerned about the future and are determined to continue our work. We hope you’ll join us!

Video: Parents to Senator Vukmir: “Support Our Schools.”

Parents from Wauwatosa respond to Sen. Leah Vukmir and her column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her column can be seen here.

From Our Blog

WPEN Summer Summit

WPEN Summer Summit

Registration for the WPEN Summer Summit is open now. Please join your fellow public education advocates for this stimulating get-together. >>Learn...

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

SOS Wauwatosa was chosen to present about our advocacy and coalition-building model to promote public education at the Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis in October. We'll share our experience, and learn about how similar organizations nationwide...

In The News

WPEN Summer Summit

WPEN Summer Summit

Registration for the WPEN Summer Summit is open now. Please join your fellow public education advocates for this stimulating get-together. >>Learn...

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

SOS Wauwatosa was chosen to present about our advocacy and coalition-building model to promote public education at the Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis in October. We'll share our experience, and learn about how similar organizations nationwide...

 

Take Action

Over the next few months, we’ve got some wonderful things planned. Please join us and stay tuned for other upcoming events!

 

SOSTosa Video Project

Starting in the spring of 2016, we took to the road to collect stories from parents, business owners, community leaders, educators, and other public school supporters. Highlighting their stories is important because it is a reminder of just how important Wisconsin’s tradition of great public schools is. Here are the most recent videos, but there are more!

SOS Wauwatosa at Joint Finance Hearing

Go Dennis go!!! The Joint Finance Committee heard testimony from Tosa dad, alderman and SOS member Dennis McBride. https://www.facebook.com/noMPStakeover/videos/1255446397903567/

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From Our Blog

WPEN Summer Summit

Registration for the WPEN Summer Summit is open now. Please join your fellow public education advocates for this stimulating get-together. >>Learn...

read more

We’ve gone national! (But we’re still all in for Tosa.)

SOS Wauwatosa was chosen to present about our advocacy and coalition-building model to promote public education at the Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis in October. We'll share our experience, and learn about how similar organizations nationwide...

read more

Thank You Wauwatosa School District Leaders

We are proud of the wise, proactive actions of the leaders of Wauwatosa East High School, others at the Wauwatosa School District and the school board. Common sense safety measures, like the resolution passed by the board, are what we need at the state level. Read...

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Did you know…

Did you know... Over half of our public school districts received less state aid in 2017-2018 than they did in 2016-2017. Enrollment in the voucher program is set by state statute to increase every year until the 2026-2027 school year when the caps come off...

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SOS Wauwatosa Voter’s Guide

One Wauwatosa School Board seat is up for election on April 3. Check the SOS Wauwatosa Voter's Guide to learn more about the candidate, Eric Jessup-Anger. And be sure to vote!

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Stay informed!

Stay informed! The legislature is looking at ways to allow schools to shift money in trust for libraries to other areas of schools. Here's more...  

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Wrapping Up “I Love My Public School” week

As we wrap up "I Love My Public School" week, we share some photos taken today at the Wisconsin state capitol. Public school advocates--including SOS Wauwatosa president Stacy Lynch, mom of two recent Tosa schools graduates--delivered giant "valentines" to state...

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