Wisconsin Representative Steil Co-Sponsors ‘Open Schools Act’


Representative Bryan Steil (R-WI-01) is co-sponsoring the Open Schools Act with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) “to support students and allow parents to make the best decision for their family.” According to a press release from Davis, the Open Schools Act would provide families with up to $10,000 per student “to seek alternative forms of in-person education” if the public school that the students attend has switched to distance or online learning due to COVID.

Steil said in his support for the legislation, “We must keep our schools OPEN.”

“Teachers unions are failing our kids. School closures rob our nation’s children of an education beyond just what they learn in the classroom. Countless children, many of whom are from poor and minority neighborhoods, have had no option when their schools fail them. America’s laptop class is blind to the challenges facing working families, and it’s time we put the needs of our children first. Power in the hands of parents, not teachers unions,” Davis said.

According to the press release from Davis, “A closed or shut down school means any school that is partially or temporarily closed, is partially in-person, fully shut down or is operating in any manner in which less than 100 percent of the school’s students are learning in-person on a given day due to COVID.”

The move from Davis and Steil followed a walkout by Chicago Teachers Union members, who refused to show up to teach in-person classes. Wisconsin has also been dealing with school closures that have been heavily criticized by some Republicans, including Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08).

The Wisconsin Daily Star reported that Gallagher said that the decisions to pause in-person learning were based on “outdated science,” and cited concerns regarding testing scores of children falling farther and farther behind.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].




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