The January 14 hearing by the Assembly Education Committee produced ONLY ONE speaker who favored the Accountability proposal, Assembly Bill 1 (AB 1), and that was the Bill’s author, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt. During his testimony, Thiesfeldt refused to name either the person or organization who asked him to introduce it, the source of the information from which the Bill was produced, or who additional sponsors of the Bill are. Much appears to have come from the far-right group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Thiesfeldt did say that additional COMMON CORE STANDARDS would be added to his Accountability Bill proposal, as it proceeds through the legislative process.
Major opposition was heard from DPI policy advisor Jeff Pertl who testified that if AB 1 was in effect in 2015, $587 million in State education funds would be diverted from public schools to for-profit charter schools.
Senator Dave Hansen (Green Bay) said, “Some of the special interests in the Capitol might not like that fact, but a lot of the problems we’re seeing with AB 1 could have been avoided if a more inclusive effort had been made by the author.”
PRIVATIZATION – the goal of AB 1 was made clear as the intent of the proposal in remarks by Rep. Eric Genrich (Green Bay) who said, “Today’s hearing has made clear that this most recent effort to take over certain public schools and further privatize public education is hastily and poorly crafted. This legislation is being rammed through the legislative process without giving deference to or seeking real input from the educational professionals and local school boards who serve our school kids every day.”