Court won’t let Conn. challenge education law

Seattle Times – Stephanie Reitz 

Connecticut’s options, if any, were unclear Tuesday as word of the Supreme Court’s decision spread among state lawmakers, education administrators and

Supreme Court Declines to Hear NCLB Challenge‎ – Education Week News (blog)

AK: Bill would expand the age for school attendance

By Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press, Anchorage Daily News

Alaska children would have to attend school from age 6 to 18 under a measure approved by the Senate Education Committee.

AK: In Alaska, Constitution no cure for education woes

By Chris Stein, The Juneau Empire

Faced with low voter turnout and a student population perceived as constitutionally uneducated, two Alaska representatives believe civics is the solution.

AZ: Bill would require report of expulsions

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

An Arizona House committee wants to require community colleges and universities to inform mental-health specialists when students, faculty or others are suspended or expelled because of threats of violence.

AZ: Lawmaker would abolish Arizona Board of Regents

By The Associated Press, Arizona Capitol Times (Phoenix)

An Arizona legislator is proposing that the state board that oversees the entire public university system be eliminated and replaced with separate boards of trustees for each state university.

AZ: Univ. of Ariz. starts national civility institute

By The Associated Press, Arizona Capitol Times (Phoenix)

Two former presidents — one Republican, the other a Democrat — will chair a new national institute to promote civility in political discourse in the city where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded in a shooting rampage that left six dead, officials announced Monday.

AZ: Arizona State University to offer more short classes

By Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

The 15-week fall and spring semesters are a long-standing tradition on university campuses.

AZ: Arizona universities OK’d to accept more out-of-state students

By Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

Arizona’s three state universities are being given the go-ahead to accept more out-of-state students as a way to bring in more money.

AZ: Arizona’s English immersion program could be unlawful

By Lauren Gambino, Cronkite News Service, East Valley Tribune

TUCSON, Ariz. — At a time when one-in-eight students in Arizona qualify for English language services, the state has made controversial and — according to the federal government — possibly unlawful changes to its language education program.

CA: California teachers’ pension system headed toward insolvency

By Sharon Noguchi, The Mercury News (San Jose)

As California school districts anticipate possibly the worst budget crisis in a generation, many will try to lighten their burden by enticing older teachers into retirement.

CO: Education cuts to hurt all, economist says

By John Norton, The Pueblo Chieftain

Area school district officials are worrying about where they’re going to cut expenses to absorb a major reduction in state funding, but a Colorado State University-Pueblo economist says they aren’t the only ones who’ll be tightening their belts.

CO: Colorado Democrats split over governor’s proposed education cuts

By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press, The Denver Post

Possible school cuts in Colorado have prompted some of the first signs of division between Democrats in the legislature and the Democratic governor.

CO: Denver legislator, Salida students team up for bottle-deposit bill

By Lynn Bartles, The Denver Post

A state lawmaker has teamed up with a Salida middle school to raise money for education while reducing litter from bottles.

CT: Will new Race to the Top rules penalize Connecticut?

By Deirdre Shesgreen,

WASHINGTON — The Obama Administration has re-jiggered its controversial Race to the Top program, hoping to unleash a new wave of education reform at the local level by dangling federal grants in front of individual school districts.

DE: Colleges brace for potential grant cuts

By Wade Malcolm, The News Journal (New Castle-Wilmington)

Along with college classes, Victoria Kelsey juggles three jobs.

GA: Deal outlines HOPE, pre-K overhaul

By The Associated Press, The Augusta Chronicle

Gov. Nathan Deal is proposing a sweeping overhaul of Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship and prekindergarten programs to keep the groundbreaking initiatives from going broke.

HI: Move on school wellness rules

By Staff, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Hawaii’s schoolchildren are among the nation’s leanest, but obesity is a growing concern that needs strict application of rules scheduled to take effect at the end of the current school year. Most public schools need to muster the willpower to more actively halt the presence of sugary drinks and high-fat foods while significantly increasing physical education.

IA: Iowa Poll — Put preschool funds elsewhere

By Staci Hupp, The Des Moines Register

More than 80 percent of Iowans believe every child should have access to a quality preschool, but they don’t want to carve money from a tight state budget to cover the costs for all 4-year-olds, a new Iowa Poll shows.

IA: Don’t devalue Iowa’s public employees

By Staff, The Des Moines Register

Public workers generally have it pretty good, from pay to health insurance to job security. That has led to envy and resentment among private-sector workers. Some elected officials are now tapping into those feelings.

IA: Governor doesn’t favor Wisconsin type labor law changes

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

Governor Terry Branstad says he does not favor the same kind of sweeping changes in Iowa’s labor laws that Wisconsin’s governor is seeking, but Branstad is asking legislators to pass a law that creates a new sort of “veto power” over state worker pay and benefit agreements, giving the governor and legislators authority to reject negotiated union contracts which legislators or the governor find unacceptable.

IA: Unions to hold rally at statehouse today

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

A group of Iowa-based unions plans to hold a rally at the statehouse in Des Moines this afternoon as a “show of solidarity” with protests in Wisconsin.

IA: Legislative debate ends on effort to sell University of Iowa’s Pollock painting

By Jason Clayworth and Thomas Beaumont, The Des Moines Register

The idea to force the University of Iowa to sell its $150 million Jackson Pollock painting has officially died in the Legislature.

ID: Lawmaker, protesters take aim at Idaho school reform plan

By Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review (Spokane)

A controversial school reform plan that calls for larger classes, fewer teachers and more technology may be pulled back for changes at the urging of a Coeur d’Alene senator, after it narrowly cleared the Senate Education Committee last week.

IL: Truth and tremors

By Staff, Chicago Tribune

Illinois taxpayers shouldn’t overlook two weeks of subtle tremors from Springfield: The seismic charts suggest that Speaker Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and Gov. Pat Quinn at long last realize that Illinoisans cannot afford all the public employee benefits our politicians have promised.

IL: Big Ten cooperative group revokes UIC status

By Julie Wurth, The Associated Press, Peoria Journal Star

CHICAGO — When two University of Illinois campuses in Chicago merged to create the UI Chicago in 1982, the new entity was granted a special status within a Big Ten academic group.

IL: Wisconsin senators living day-to-day south of border

By Dawn Rhodes, Hailey Branson-Potts and Erin Meyer, Chicago Tribune

Some senators left Wisconsin with little more than the clothes on their backs. Others came to Illinois equipped with an Urban Essentials pack: clothes, toiletries, cell phones, smart phones — Facebook and Twitter ready.

IL: Teen suicide — More schools bring issue out of shadows

By John Keilman, Chicago Tribune

Not long ago, some educators say, teen suicide was enveloped in silence, a subject too perilous to discuss. But candor has begun to gain strength in area high schools, where a new state law is promoting prevention training for teachers and staff.

IN: Senate rejects try to aid school fund with assets seized from criminals

By Staff, The Indianapolis Star

A proposal to allow assets seized from criminals to directly benefit school districts was rejected in the Senate on Monday.

IN: State builders group red-flags EVSC ‘sale and buyback’ deal

By John Martin, Evansville Courier and Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A statewide builders group is siding with local contractors suing Evansville’s public school system over the lack of competitive bidding on a multimillion-dollar project.

IN: Higher ed comes out ahead in GOP version of budget

By Mary Beth Schneider, The Indianapolis Star

House Republicans are pushing a budget that differs from the one proposed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in some key areas, particularly higher education.

KS: Kansas House votes to repeal tuition break for children of illegal immigrants

By Brad Bumsted, Kansas City Star

A bill that would repeal in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants cleared a major legislative hurdle Monday.

KS: Kansas House committee raises questions about KSU construction projects, delays consideration of Regents budget

By Scott Rothschild, The Lawrence Journal-World

The House budget-writing committee balked Monday on the proposed higher education budget after several conservatives posed questions about a number of building projects at Kansas State University.

LA: Jindal reveals budget ideas

By Marsha Sills and Michelle Millhollon, The Advocate (Baton Rouge)

LAFAYETTE, La. — Surrounded by university students, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced proposed legislation Monday that he said could buoy higher education and health-care funding during downturns in state revenue.

MI: Gary Brown — Detroit will make Wisconsin ‘look like a tea party’ if legislators allow emergency financial managers to void union contracts

By Jonathan Oosting,

Gov. Rick Snyder hasn’t proposed ending collective-bargaining rights for Michigan’s public employee unions like his Wisconsin counterpart, but municipalities are concerned the state’s Republican-led congress could give emergency financial managers the right to do so.

MI: Lansing braces for protests

By Paul Egan, The Detroit News

Hundreds of union members, tea party supporters and citizens are expected to converge on the Capitol today to lobby the Legislature and show their feelings for Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget plan.

MI: Cut services or benefits? Locals must choose

By Staff, The Detroit News

Local government and school leaders this weekend find themselves in similar circumstances to the guy who just got a tough pep talk from the new boss.

MI: Clock ticking for DPS

By Staff, The Detroit News

The financial walls are closing in on the Detroit Public Schools, and unless Robert Bobb is given expanded powers to make radical changes to the operating model, the district will go broke.

MI: Wisconsin’s governor a conservative? Hardly

By Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press

I’ve been watching pretty closely as Wisconsin tries to end collective bargaining for most public employees — not just because of the obvious parallels to states like Michigan, but also because I’m floored by this “conservative” attempt to impose a government solution on a market problem.

MI: Is there a ‘simmering rage’ among our teachers?

By Dave Murray,

Diane Ravitch thinks so. The author and former education reformer wrote on that the protesting in Wisconsin goes beyond Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip the teachers union of its bargaining ability.

MI: As goes Wisconsin, so goes Michigan in battle for worker savings? Not necessarily

By Peter Luke,

Thousands have stormed Wisconsin’s capitol in Madison over the past week to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for more public employee wage concessions and, more ominously for unions, to dramatically scale back collective bargaining rights.

MI: West Michigan lawmaker says its ‘dangerous’ to not earmark a portion of business taxes for schools

By Monica Scott,

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — State Rep. Brand Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, says its ‘dangerous’ to not have some business taxes earmarked for the school aid fund.

MI: State tells Bobb to implement ‘draconian’ plan to close half of Detroit schools, raise class sizes

By Darrell Dawsey,

Robert Bobb has been given the go-ahead to implement a plan that even he says will essentially destroy the Detroit Public School system.

MI: School officials say Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget breaks Prop. A promise, want help with health care costs

By Peter Luke,

School administrators say Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal would cut per-pupil funding by more than $700 per student in part by diverting nearly $900 million in restricted state school aid funding to community colleges and universities.

MI: State Superintendent Flanagan tells schools not to ‘panic’ over Snyder budget plan

By Dave Murray,

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is telling educators and parents they should look at Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget plans as an opportunity to make improvements.

MI: Michigan orders DPS to make huge cuts

By Jennifer Jacobs, The Detroit News

State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that balances the district’s books by closing half of its schools, swelling high school class sizes to 60 students and consolidating operations.

MI: Gov. Rick Snyder isn’t ending union rights, but he wants help

By Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder isn’t proposing the elimination of collective-bargaining rights for the state’s public employee unions, like Wisconsin counterpart Scott Walker is.

MI: Many Michigan high school grads not ready for college, data show

By Lori Higgins and Kristi Tanner-White, Detroit Free Press

At more than half of Michigan’s high schools, fewer than 10% of students graduating this spring are college ready, according to data released today that for the first time measures the extent of college readiness at every high school in the state.

MN: Lawmakers pick 2 ex-colleagues for U of M Regents

By Martiga Lohn, The Associated Press, Brainerd Daily Dispatch

The University of Minnesota’s governing board shifted to the right on Monday as the GOP-led Legislature made over the Board of Regents by electing two former lawmakers, both Republicans, and dropping a union official.

MN: U of Minn. students rally at capitol

By The Associated Press, Brainerd Daily Dispatch

More than 300 University of Minnesota students from throughout the state are scheduled to rally in the capitol to drum up support for higher education funding.

MT: Bill would add parental control to sex education education

By Alana Listoe, Helena Independent Record

A Bill that would prevent abortion providers from offering materials to students and force school districts to provide parents with an opt-in option for sex education courses passed the House.

ND: N.D. House votes to keep Fighting Sioux nickname, logo

By Teri Finneman, Grand Forks Herald

The North Dakota House debated a Fighting Sioux bill for about 30 minutes on Monday before showing strong support to keep UND’s controversial nickname.

NJ: State lawmakers in the dark as Gov. Chris Christie prepares to propose 2012 budget on Tuesday

By Juliet Fletcher, The Press of Atlantic City

State legislative leaders have been kept in the dark on the specifics of Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address Tuesday, a situation some members said was unusual and a potential sign of dramatic policies in the works.

NJ: Christie, administration defend, disparage N.J. data to bolster schools agenda

By Bob Braun, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

New Jersey’s school wars have erupted on a number of fronts. School finance. Charters. Vouchers. Tenure. What Gov. Chris Christie calls reform — but critics call destroying the public school system — has exploded into a strident and emotional conflict.

NJ: Despite economy, N.J. accounting graduates see job opportunities

By Joseph R. Perone, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

During her sophomore year of college, Jennifer Lynch realized she had little chance of scoring her dream job. The credit crisis of 2008 and resulting layoffs around the nation limited her chances of working in sports marketing.

NJ: N.J. unions to rally at Statehouse in support of Wisconsin public workers

By Ginger Gibson, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

New Jersey’s state employee unions are organizing a Friday rally at the Statehouse to express support for workers rallying in Wisconsin.

NJ: Christie’s budget address may kick off rocky stretch for Governor, Democrats

By Jarret Renshaw, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

Gov. Chris Christie will unveil a state budget today, after months of saying he plans to cut business taxes, revamp school aid, reform pension and health benefits for public workers and bring back some property tax relief.

NJ: Neither Christie nor Democrats show sign of budget compromise

By Tom Hester,

Gov. Chris Christie will unveil his proposed 2011-12 state budget before a joint session of the Legislature at 2 p.m. Tuesday and, to paraphrase Betty Davis’ memorable line in the classic movie, “All About Eve,” fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy four months.”

NM: Lawmaker- Skandera’s credentials might not fit the job

By Barry Massey, Santa Fe New Mexican

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s nominee for public education secretary, Hanna Skandera, faces questions in the Legislature over whether she meets constitutional requirements for the job.

NM: Senate has questions about education nominee

By Barry Massey, The Daily Times (Farmington)

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s nominee for public education secretary, Hanna Skandera, faces questions in the Legislature over whether she meets constitutional requirements for the job.

NV: Education cuts may yield drastic solution

By Richard Lake, Las Vegas Review-Journal

The word on the street is that UNLV and the rest of the state’s colleges and universities could go bankrupt because of budget cuts.

NV: Nevada Democrats seek tax credits for small business investment

By Ray Hagar, The Reno Gazette-Journal

For the third week in a row, Assembly Democrats rolled out bills that are part of their overall plan to put Nevadans back to work, speaking Monday about two bills that will gives tax abatements and credits to those who make investments in Nevada’s small businesses and universities.

OH: Labor supporters plan big Statehouse rally today

By Joe Hallett and Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch

Protesters projected to number anywhere from 4,000 to 20,000 are expected to swarm Capitol Square to rally against a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining for state employees and weaken the ability of local workers to bargain for their pay, benefits and working conditions.

OH: Will Dems follow Wisconsin lead on walkout?

By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch

Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats delayed a vote this week on a controversial collective bargaining bill by fleeing the state, leaving the chamber with too few members to proceed. Could the same tactic work here? No.

OH: Lawmaker — SB 5 process should have been less confrontational

By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch

Watching thousands of public union protestors show up day after day to the Statehouse to oppose Senate Bill 5, the collective bargaining bill, has at least one Senate Republican wishing things had been done differently.

OH: Thousands of public workers expected Tuesday to protest Republicans’ plan to overhaul collective bargaining law

By Joe Guillen, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Public workers from across the state again are expected to flood the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday in opposition to a Republican effort to weaken unions’ collective bargaining rights.

OH: Public employees, not taxpayers, will pay for changes to the state’s five pension systems under House bill

By Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Public employees, not taxpayers, will foot the bill for fixing the state’s retirement systems under a plan now before the state legislature.

OH: Teachers unions oppose boosting retirement share

By Darrel Rowland, The Columbus Dispatch

With all the furor over collective bargaining, proposals to revamp Ohio public employees’ pension plans almost have gotten lost.

OH: Ohio University hopes incentives will encourage about 195 employees to leave

By Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio University hopes to entice about 195 professors and staff members to take a proposed buyout or early retirement package so it can save about $8.7 million a year.

OK: Oklahoma Senate approves bill to shake up Board of Education

By John Estus, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)

The Republican effort to strip power from the current state Board of Education continued Monday with Senate approval of a bill to replace the board’s members with statewide officials.

OR: Oregon measure pitches college savings for newborns

By Brent Hunsberger, The Oregonian (Portland)

Josh McGriff and Ashley Anderson marked the birth of their daughter, McKinnley, by opening a college savings account at KeyBank when she was 2 weeks old.

OR: Oregon students ask legislators to fulfill promises for quality education at Presidents Day rally

By Kimberly Melton, The Oregonian (Portland)

Oregon students, teachers and parents gathered on the state Capitol steps Monday and told lawmakers they want better funding for public education.

PA: Pennsylvania school districts brace for severe cutbacks

By Mike Wereschagin, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Nearly three of every four Pennsylvania school districts spend more than they take in, a problem likely to worsen next year when $1.4 billion in federal stimulus money ends, according to state data.

PA: ‘Passion’ at core of state universities’ overseers

By Debra Erdley, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

On the surface, Joshua Young and Thomas “Doc” Sweitzer have little in common. Young, 28, of Chester County works in his family’s auto repair shop; Sweitzer, 57, is a partner in the influential Philadelphia-based Campaign Group, an advertising and political consulting firm.

RI: 11 teachers face layoff for poor performance

By Jennifer D. Jordan, The Providence Journal

Around this time every year, Rhode Island school districts confronting budget cuts or declining enrollments send out pink slips warning teachers who might be laid off in June. But in Central Falls, another factor is contributing to a high number of pink slips. Eleven teachers –– most of whom work at the city’s only high school –– could lose their jobs because of poor performance.

TN: Haslam seeks tougher teacher tenure, more TN charter schools

By Chas Sisk, The Tennessean (Nashville)

Teachers would have to wait at least two more years for tenure, and the statewide cap on the number of charter schools would be removed, under a proposal introduced Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam.

TX: Proposed budget has no money for new textbooks

By The Associated Press, The Houston Chronicle

Texas budget troubles include no money for new textbooks.

TX: Texas charter schools eye permanent school fund

By Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune

It took seven years for Houston-based Harmony Public Schools, the state’s largest charter network and one of its best academically, to secure a bank bond in 2007 to buy and remodel buildings on its 33 campuses.

TX: Texas expected to pass bill allowing guns on college campuses

By The Associated Press, The Birmingham News

Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms.

TX: Lawmakers may come to charter schools’ aid

By Morgan Smith, The New York Times

It took seven years for Houston-based Harmony Public Schools, the state’s largest charter network and one of its best academically, to secure a bank bond in 2007 to buy and remodel buildings on its 33 campuses. Since then, it has obtained two additional bonds — the most recent for $90 million issued last year — to continue its expansion.

UT: Scholarship aims to reward students who reach healthy weight

By Lisa Schencker, The Denver Post

A new Utah charter school and a Kaysville gym are partnering to offer scholarships over the next couple of years based on body mass index (BMI), an indicator of body fat based on height and weight.

UT: Restoring sales tax on food in Utah seen as way to fund school growth

By Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

Restoring the sales tax on food is being quietly pushed as an option to ensure there’s enough money to fund growth in public education this legislative session.

VA: K-12 education measures spark debate in Senate

By Wesley P. Hester, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Two education bills were the subject of lively discussion on the state Senate floor Monday, with one regarding parental disciplinary notification defeated and another related to pre-Labor Day school openings back today.

WA: Washington must chart a better way on higher education support

By Staff, The Seattle Times

Washington lawmakers must seriously consider recommendations from the governor’s higher-education task force. The task force recommends an innovative way to ensure the health of the state’s higher-education system.

WA: Bill would let parents teach driver’s ed to their kids

By Joanna Nolasco, The Seattle Times

Starting with his family’s tractor, State Rep. Vincent Buys says he’s been driving since he was 10 years old. Now, the Republican from Lynden, Whatcom County, wants to provide more options for teenagers to learn how to drive.

WA: Money for learning shrinks

By Donna Gordon Blankinship, The Associated Press, The Olympian

The Washington Constitution makes education the highest priority of state government, but that doesn’t stop lawmakers from cutting the money they spend on schools.

WA: Senate bill targets tuition program

By Katie Schmidt, The Olympian

With higher education tuition rising rapidly in the state, some lawmakers want to change the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition college-savings program to head off a financial shortfall in the future.

WI: Stalemate in the statehouse — Government in limbo as union debate rages

By Mary Spicuzza and Clay Barbour, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Senate Democrats are still in hiding and protesters are still packing the state Capitol, but Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers said Monday they plan to push ahead with efforts to pass a controversial bill to curb collective bargaining rights for public workers and make sweeping changes to Medicaid.

WI: GOP raises the stakes

By Patrick Marley and Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In a move meant to lure boycotting opposition senators back to Wisconsin, the Republican leader of the state Senate threatened Monday to force a vote soon on a bill that is abhorred by Democrats: requiring people to show an ID at the polls.

WI: Assembly’s abrupt adjournment caps chaotic day in Capitol

By Jason Stein, Patrick Marley and Steve Schultze, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Assembly teetered on the brink of chaos Friday evening but then adjourned peacefully after Republicans rescinded a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill that the GOP lawmakers took without Democrats present.

WI: Enough with trickery; Just fix the problem

By Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin’s fiscal crisis is real — not something ginned up by Gov. Scott Walker as a way to punish political opponents. The numbers don’t lie. Like many other states, Wisconsin is in a fiscal quagmire, and not one of Walker’s making.

WI: Game time is over

By Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democrats in the state Senate should return to their jobs and stop pretending their escape to Illinois was about democracy. It wasn’t. In fact, quite the opposite. Democracy has creaked to a halt in their absence.

WI: Passionate but peaceful

By Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The protesters in Madison were loud and insistent — and sometimes colorful. They chanted. They sang. They beat drums. They were peaceful.

WI: Here’s a plot for ‘Madison — The Movie’

By Eugene Kane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When I heard state Senate Democrats boarded a bus last week to escape Madison, it brought to mind the 1994 film “Speed” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

WI: Running away is irresponsible

By Staff, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

They made their point. Now it’s time to get back to work — in Madison, not Rockford, Ill., or Chicago.

WI: Fix budget, then bring bargaining back

By Staff, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

School shutdowns, thousands of public workers packed shoulder to shoulder at the Capitol, legislators on the lam — this should give Wisconsin pause.

WI: Rebranding state, for better or worse

By Tom Still, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Is the new Wisconsin brand destined to become “We’re open for business” or “We’re at war with ourselves”?

WI: Walker should take compromise deal; Unions should re-examine priorities

By Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

A little more than a week ago, I asked the leaders of the three major public employee unions if they’d be willing to accept Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed concessions on pensions and health care — seeing as how Walker didn’t have the courtesy to ask them himself.

WI: Legislators, please make us proud

By Thomas A. Kochan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Last week, as the legislative confrontation in Wisconsin was unfolding, I suggested a three-step solution to the impasse.

WI: Dollars roll in for lawmakers on the lam

By Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The 14 Senate Democrats who fled to Illinois have not only temporarily blocked their Republican colleagues from pushing through Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. They’ve also hit the campaign jackpot.

WI: Democrats have more than 100 amendments to bill

By The Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Democrats plan to offer more than 100 amendments in the state Assembly to Gov. Scott Walker’s plan taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public workers.

WI: Green Bay area officials bracing for cuts in budget

By Steve Contorno, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Local officials know their piece of the pie is shrinking again. For the better part of a decade, they’ve dealt with reductions in shared revenue and school aid.

WI: Legislative Hotline for Wisconsin disconnected

By Mary Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

The Legislative Hotline for the Wisconsin State Legislature has been temporarily disconnected due to a flood of telephone calls.

WI: Walker upends state politics after less than two months in office

By Scott Bauer, The Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

It took Scott Walker only a few weeks to push the Capitol into political chaos.

WI: Forcibly returning Senate Democrats may be unconstitutional

By Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

The state constitution prohibits lawmakers from being arrested while the Legislature is in session, unless they’re accused of serious crimes.

WI: Do students benefit from teachers unions?

By Susan Troller, The Capital Times (Madison)

In the heated debate surrounding Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate nearly all parts of collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees, there hasn’t been much discussion about what impact these changes could have on students.

WI: Teacher retirements up after budget fix proposal

By Amy Hetzner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

All was quiet on Feb. 1, the deadline for employees at the Hartford Union High School District in Washington County to submit their requests for retirement, with not a single expected retiree.

WI: Protests at Wisconsin Capitol become routinely festive

By Bill Glauber and Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From violinists serenading protesters as they entered the halls of state government to the makeshift information desk that has sprung up to offer everything from media talking points to directions to the nearest electrical outlets, the Capitol and surrounding grounds have become Wisconsin’s three-ring circus of protest.

WI: Protest is big business

By Joe Carey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There is at least one group of people happy with Gov. Scott Walker and the pro-union protesters: Madison business owners.

WI: Biggest protests yet as pro-Walker side, larger union crowd meet peacefully

By Don Walker, Lee Bergquist and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With no political compromise in sight on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill, tens of thousands of demonstrators with strong opinions of their own converged Saturday inside and outside the state Capitol to chant, sing, wave signs, beat drums and march for their causes.

WI: Budget battle — Smaller group of protesters shows up Sunday; Senate Republicans plan to meet Tuesday

By Patrick Marley and Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As protests at the state Capitol entered their second week, Republicans and Democrats on Sunday were holding possible bargaining chips in their efforts to end the political standoff that has held up action on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

WI: Walker has created ‘an ideological war,’ Barrett says

By Steve Schultze, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday accused Gov. Scott Walker of setting off an “ideological war” by demanding an end to most public-worker collective bargaining rights.

WI: Teachers ready, but reluctant, to return to classrooms

By Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Katrina Ladopoulos says she hesitated before picking up the phone last Tuesday night and calling in sick to work Wednesday.

WI: Refinancing bonds accounts is huge part of budget repair bill

By John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to curtail bargaining rights for public-sector unions has triggered mass protests and national headlines but hardly constitutes the biggest part of his budget repair bill.

WI: Doctors’ excuses for protesting teachers in Madison draw scrutiny

By Tom Held, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Protesters in Madison who obtained medical excuse slips to cover their absences from work, and the doctors who issued them, are likely to be subjected to more intensive examinations.

WI: University model for UW autonomy

By Sharif Durhams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Virginia is often cited as the example to examine a state’s top universities seeking more autonomy from lawmakers, but a move in 2005 that gave those schools more freedom gets different grades from those who have studied it.

WI: In Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Democrats vow unity

By Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Life on the lam isn’t easy for the “Democratic 14.” They shuttle from place to place in Illinois, contact constituents, read e-mails and try to keep up to date on the political chaos that has engulfed Madison since they fled the state Thursday.

WI: Capitol drama will reverberate for both sides in 2012 races

By Jon Craig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The explosive budget fight in Madison, like the explosive budget fight in Washington, is setting the table for the 2012 election.

WI: State agents, DNR wardens not exempt from Walker cuts

By John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Scott Walker has exempted police officers, firefighters and state troopers from cuts in his budget-repair bill, saying those in public safety should be treated differently.

WI: Business leaders back Walker’s strategy

By John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Many of Wisconsin’s business leaders are lending their support to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposals to reduce state worker benefits, even if it means weakening bargaining rights for public trade unions in the process.

WI: Wisconsin budget battle rallies continue

By Dan Hinkel, Chicago Tribune

In opposing rallies that were both peaceful and spirited, an estimated 60,000 demonstrators surrounded the Wisconsin State Capitol on Saturday, the largest crowd yet in a weeklong clash that has become the center of a broader ideological battle over union rights and taxes.

WY: Wyoming schools fall out of ‘Race’ early

By Jackie Borchardt, Casper Star-Tribune

Wyoming cut out early from the competitive $4.35 billion federal education grant program.

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