We talk to NextGen America’s Press Secretary, Kristi Johnston, about their unconventional strategy to reach young voters this election. Hint: it includes matching on Hinge.
Then we talk to Wisconsin Policy Forum Research, Don Cramer, on his new report: In Case of Emergency: More schools turn to short-term licenses
We are joined by NextGen’s National Press Secretary, Kristi Johnson, to talk about an unconventional tactic they are using to engage with young voters: Hinge. Yes, Hinge, the dating app.
During ‘Courting the Vote in Wisconsin,’ NextGen organizers and volunteers are using the app to connect with young people in Wisconsin. They are encouraging them to make a plan to vote and share NextGen’s WI Vote Hub with key voting resources. And maybe, just maybe, there is a date as well.
The dating app organizing program was first piloted during the 2020 election cycle in Arizona. and NextGen continued to launch the program nationally ahead of the midterm election.
NextGen isn’t only making matches while encouraging people to vote. They also have on-the-ground and online organizing, which includes weekly text banks, phonebanks, and in-person on-campus outreach with partners like Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin and The Lincoln Project’s The Union. Overall, NextGen America plans to contact thousands of young Wisconsinites before Election Day.
NextGen America is the leading national organization for engaging young people through voter education, registration, and mobilization.
Wisconsin Policy Forum researcher, Don Cramer, joins to chat about his recent report on the rise of emergency teaching licenses in Wisconsin schools. Don found that over the past decade, the number of emergency licenses in the state has nearly tripled. This could be a sign that schools are struggling with staff shortages and high turnover rates, especially in areas like special education.
So, what exactly are emergency licenses? Essentially, when a school district in Wisconsin can’t find a licensed teacher to fill a position, they can hire an unlicensed individual who then applies for an emergency license with certain conditions. These licenses can also be used by counselors, social workers, librarians, and school administrators. They’re meant to fill short-term and sometimes urgent needs in the classroom.
Don’s report reveals that not only has the number of emergency licenses and license holders increased over the past decade, but the number of districts and educational entities employing teachers with emergency licenses has also risen. This trend is happening across the state, not just in urban or rural areas.
Interestingly, many teachers hold onto their emergency licenses for multiple years. Since 2017, about 30% of individuals with an emergency license held one in a previous year, and about 10% had emergency licenses in two previous years.
This rise in emergency licensure suggests that traditional hiring avenues for teachers are not meeting the demand for qualified educators. Policymakers should take note of this trend as they address broader issues like school funding and teacher shortages. It’s also important to ensure that new teaching hires with no classroom experience receive sufficient mentorship and training to provide the best education possible to their students.
Overall, Don’s report sheds light on an important issue facing Wisconsin schools and highlights the need for creative solutions to address teacher shortages and high turnover rates.