Funding Rural Schools, Transgender Day Of Visibility, History Of The Comic Strip

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Heard On Central Time

On the fifth annual Transgender Day of Visibility, Veronica Rueckert and Gene Purcell speak to a member of the trans community about the holiday and common misconceptions about transgender people. And, they’ll look at the history and future of the comic strip, then discuss referenda accross the state to fund rural schools.

Featured in this Show

  • As Polls Open, Superintendent Says Situation For Rural Schools Is 'Dire'

    Voters in 26 schools districts in Wisconsin will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to raise property taxes to fund regular operations of their schools.

    Officials in the 26 primarily rural districts aren’t asking to fund program or infrastructure expansion, but to keep the schools running as they do now.

    Sue Green, superintendent of the Oakfield School District in Fond du Lac County, said that if the referendum in her district doesn’t pass, it is very possible her school will close.

    “Right now, we estimate that we have funding to get through the good part of next year. Our fear is that if the referendum does not pass, we would have families choosing to open enroll (in other districts) rather than waiting for the end (closure) of the school district. We really do see it as a dire situation,” she said.

    According to Green, the difficulty in funding rural schools began during the 1993-1994 school year when the state capped the amount that districts could raise property taxes in order to fund schools. While Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 gave schools greater ability to cap or reduce teacher pay and benefits for budgetary reasons, Green said her district has taken advantage of that flexibility but is still facing difficulty. Walker’s first state budget, which passed in 2011, also significantly reduced state aid to school districts.

    A similar referendum in her district last year failed and forced the district to make cuts, she said.

    “There was a feeling that it wasn’t as dire and there still could be a lot more cuts to be made, so when it failed last spring, the school board and the administration made the significant cuts they needed to get through this school year. It was very painful to the district, to the community,” said Green.

    Now, Green said, her staff is “working on a bare bones budget.”

    She said that this time around, if the referendum doesn’t pass they will begin cutting programs “that are not absolutely required … like agriculture, technology.”

    The referendum this year is asking for increased funding over the next six years, $1 million annually during the first three and $1.2 million annually during the subsequent three.

    Beyond funding from local taxpayers, Green said she hope state lawmakers will step in.

    “We are hoping that the state will look at what’s happening to the small rural school districts,” she said.

  • Rural School Funding Goes To Vote Across Wisconsin

    At least 26 Wisconsin school district are asking voters to increase property taxes Tuesdayt to pay for current operations.

  • Transgender Day of Visibility

    March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility, and a member of the trans community explains what this holiday is and clears up some misconceptions many people have about transgender people.

  • Sketching The History Of The Comic Strip

    The humble comic strip was a cherished tradition in the newspaper era, and is in the midst of a transition into the internet age. The directors of a new documentary share their love for the art form.

Episode Credits

  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Sue Green Guest
  • Catherine Kimport Guest
  • Dave Kellett Guest
  • Frederick Schroeder Guest