Racine still enforcing school closures under Safer Racine ordinance, despite Supreme Court pausing similar order

Adam Rogan:

The City of Racine is still banning schools from having students and teachers in their buildings within city limits through Jan. 15, despite a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision last week that put the local order closing schools on pause.

The legal reason the city is citing for continuing to enforce school closures is that the Safer Racine ordinance was updated on Nov. 23, and language overlapping with the school closures order was included within that ordinance.

Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox had issued an order on Nov. 12 that required schools within her department’s jurisdiction (which includes the City of Racine, as well as the villages of Elmwood Park and Wind Point) to close their buildings from Friday through Jan. 15. The requirement for schools to close their buildings was then codified in city ordinance, an ordinance that is still being enforced by the Public Health Department and Racine Police Department.

“We are not enforcing Dottie-Kay’s public health order at all,” Shannon Powell, spokesman for City of Racine, told The Journal Times. Powell explained that instead, the city is enforcing the ordinance, which he said is not affected by the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision last week.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.