No right to work
I read State Sen. Marklein’s explanation for why he supports the Right to Work bill soon to become a law in our state. I was startled by how many benefits he claimed the law would give workers yet he offered no evidence other than generalities to back up his claims.
How could he claim that “it is clear that RTW laws have resulted in higher wages in those states with RTW laws than union states”? I simply went to websites that provide labor statistics on wages for the 50 states and found that a comparison of per capita income and medium household income figures in those states with RTW laws and those states without RTW laws to be very revealing. As of 2014, 24 states have RTW laws. Twenty of the bottom 25 states in the above two income categories are RTW states. Only two of the top 10 states in those two categories were RTW states.
Sen. Marklein does not believe a person should be forced to pay union dues or join a union. Fine. But is there anything in the new law that says these workers cannot reap the benefits that union workers bargain for i.e. higher wages, health insurance, sick leave, grievance procedures? The answer, of course, is no. A law that was fair to ALL workers would protect those who do not want to pay into unions or be a member, but also not allow these same workers to reap the benefits that come with membership.
Yes for referendum
I will be voting Yes to the referendum to revitalize the four schools in Platteville. As a community member, I value the outstanding education provided to young people in Platteville. Our school district boasts high academic achievement and top notch educators. It is time to get the buildings up to this same level of excellence. I see three great opportunities that will be gained through the referendum in terms of safety, space, and updated labs.
First, safety is a top-most concern for all individuals in the school buildings. As our schools are currently configured, visitors do not enter the buildings through the office. By redesigning entrances, we can ensure that all visitors are accounted for and ensure the safety of everyone in the buildings.
Second, the proposal to build on to Westview and move first grade and fourth grade is strategic and forward thinking in terms of space. The renovation allows schools to reconfigure and create much needed instructional space for classes. The proposed addition to Westview will create comfortable learning spaces for students in grades first through fourth and a true gymnasium. Although the school district highly values health and wellness, Westview Elementary is challenged to use a single space for a lunch room and gym. The Westview addition and reconfiguration will result in more intentional and purposeful use of space for Neal Wilkins, Westview, and the Middle School.
Finally, new initiatives to infuse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics principles into the K–12 curriculum are exciting. However, our current facilities are not designed for this type of work. The referendum would provide resources to update the labs to support meaningful STEM explorations.
Platteville Public Schools has a history of providing an outstanding education for Platteville’s youth. The existing facilities need to be renovated to align with present day needs for safety and space for the students and valued educators in our community.
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